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Drug and Alcohol Use - A Significant Risk Factor for HIV

Infographic - see text below for description

A third of the 1.2 million Americans with HIV currently use drugs or binge on alcohol.  Contrary to popular belief, it is not the sharing of contaminated injection equipment that primarily links drug use to the HIV epidemic. Rather, drug as well as alcohol use can impair judgment and lead to risky sexual behavior and HIV transmission.  This is why substance abuse treatment can play an important role in preventing the spread of HIV

Top figure:  1.2 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV, From 2005 to 2009, 1 in 3 persons with HIV was a current drug user or binged on alcohol.

Bottom left figure:  HIV incidence by transmission, 2009.   Sexual contact - 88%,  Intravenous Drug User (IDU) - 9%,  Sex & IDU, 3%

Bottom right figure - Drug and alcohol use are associated with less frequent condom use.   24% of all persons with HIV are in need of substance abuse treatment

From CDC - http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/resources/factsheets/  and NSDUH - http://www.samhsa.gov/data/2k10/HIV-AIDS/HIV-AIDS.htm

Related Publications

Publication Cover

HIV/AIDS (Research Reports)

Published March 2006. Revised July 2012. Explores the link between drug abuse and HIV/AIDS and discusses treatment options, populations most at risk, and trends in HIV/AIDS and what to do to counter these trends. En Español

HIV/AIDS and Drug Abuse: Intertwined Epidemics (DrugFacts)

Revised May 2012. Describes how people who engage in drug use or high-risk behaviors associated with drug use also put themselves at risk for contracting or transmitting HIV/AIDS or other infectious diseases. En Español

This page was last updated November 2012