Outside of Africa drug injection is a leading vector of HIV transmission through the sharing of needles.
In order to make sure that the needle has struck a vein the drug user will draw a little blood back into the syringe before injecting. This leaves a drop or two of blood in the syringe which is injected into the blood of the next drug user to share the needle.
These tiny amounts of blood are enough to provide HIV an ideal opportunity to be transmitted. There is an approximately 37 percent chance of infection after being accidentally pricked with a hollow-bore needle.
This change is thought to be significantly higher if this the needle had been in the vein of an HIV-infected person or the viral load is high.
Drug-users who inject drugs also put their sex partners at risk. A UNAIDS report estimated that 90% of infections in heterosexuals in New York City can be traced back to sexual contact with a drug user who had shared needles.
In South Africa, sexual contact is by far the highest method of transmission for HIV.
South Africa is increasingly becoming a destination and transit point for drug traffickers. We can expect that HIV transmission from the intravenous injection will increase. Drug users usually inject directly into their bloodstream.
- The International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC) web site is an educational resource to introduce physicians, other healthcare professionals and people with HIV disease to some of the clinical and scientific information developed by IAPAC.
- Home-Use HIV test kits
- Natural Language Processing Challenges in HIV/AIDS
- Moderated Newsgroup professional medical discussion of AIDS and HIV
- Newsgroup general discussion of AIDS and HIV