Drug and Alcohol Use - A Significant Risk Factor for HIV


A third of the 1.2 million Americans with HIV currently use drugs or binge on alcohol.  Many people are unaware that the increased risk of HIV infection among substance users can result from BOTH the sharing of contaminated injection equipment as well as impaired judgment that can 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.

Middle figure: Drug and alcohol use are associated with less frequent condom use. 

Bottom left figure: HIV incidence by transmission, 2010.   Sexual contact - 84%,  Intravenous Drug User (IDU) - 16%

Bottom right figure: 24% of all persons with HIV are in need of substance abuse treatment

  1. CDC - http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/statistics/basics/ataglance.html 
  2. NSDUH - http://www.samhsa.gov/data/2k10/HIV-AIDS/HIV-AIDS.htm
  3. CDC - https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/risk/substanceuse.html

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