Its #WorldAidsDay! Most people know that intravenous drug use and needle-sharing can transmit HIV. Less is known about the role drug abuse in general plays. A person under the influence of certain drugs is more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as having unsafe sex with an infected partner. Indeed, the most common (but not only) way of contracting HIV is through unsafe sex. This includes “transactional” sex—trading sex for drugs or money.
Drug abuse and addiction can also worsen HIV symptoms, causing greater neuronal injury and cognitive impairment, for example.
Because of the strong link between drug abuse and the spread of HIV, drug abuse treatment can be an effective way to prevent the latter. People in drug abuse treatment, which often includes HIV risk reduction counselling, stop or reduce their drug use and related risk behaviours, including risky injection practices and unsafe sex. Read more here.