Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Reduce the Risk of Injecting Drugs | HIV / AIDS |

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Reduce the Risk...Tips for Injection Drug Users

The sharing of needles between injection drug users is a main source of HIV and Hepatitis C transmission. There are ways to reduce the risk to injection drug users, The Centers for Disease Control make several recommendations.

• Ideally, people who use injection drugs should be regularly counseled to stop using and injecting drugs.
• Enter and complete substance abuse treatment as well as relapse prevention.

For injection drug users who cannot or will not stop injecting drugs, the following steps may be taken to reduce personal and public health risks:

• Never reuse or "share" syringes, water, or drug preparation equipment.

• Only use syringes obtained from a reliable source (such as pharmacies or needle exchange programs).

• Use a new, sterile syringe each time to prepare and inject drugs.

• If possible, use sterile water to prepare drugs; otherwise, use clean water from a reliable source (such as fresh tap water).

• Use a new or disinfected container ("cooker") and a new filter ("cotton") to prepare drugs.

• Clean the injection site with a new alcohol swab prior to injection.

• Safely dispose of syringes after one use.

If people continue to inject drugs, then they must take other measures to reduce their risk and to stay healthy.

• Injection drug users and their sex partners also should take precautions, such as using condoms consistently and correctly.

• Persons who continue to inject drugs should regularly be tested for HIV.

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