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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

HIV On The Decline Among Drug Users

Despite intravenous drug users continuing to share needles there has been a sharp decline in HIV infections, according to a new government study. The report shows that new HIV infections have been cut in half in the past decade.

Apparently health experts are worried that the high rate of risky behaviors and a decrease in HIV testing among injection drug users, the drop in HIV infections may not last, according to Reuters.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a study which found that 9 percent of intravenous drug users were infected with HIV in 2009, compared with 18 percent in the 1990s. 45 percent of those testing positive in 2009 were unaware of their infection.

The study was based on 10,000 people from 20 urban areas, where more than one-third of participants said they had shared syringes, 69 percent had unprotected vaginal sex, and 46 percent had multiple opposite-sex partners.

49 percent of participants said they had been tested for HIV in the past 12 months in 2009, compared with 66 percent in 2006, according to the CDC.

“Despite the fact that we’ve seen declines in new HIV infections, a substantial number of IDUs (injection drug users) in major US cities are HIV-infected and their risk behavior remains fairly high,” Dr. Cyprian Wejnert, an epidemiologist at the CDC, told Reuters.

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