Every person struggling with drug addiction and suffers from HIV or AIDS, face severe and life-threatening consequences. Although both are dangerous on their own, they are even more critical when combined. The link between these two disorders has affected a massive population in America recently.
Fortunately, it is possible to treat these two conditions if you know the risks and how to avoid them.
HIV and Drug Use is Often Intertwined
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Drug addiction abuse and HIV have both been linked since the epidemic began. The connection has to do with increased risks of getting and transmitting HIV, including aggravating its consequences.
Their research also stated that 16 percent of all HIV transmission cases resulted from intravenous drug use. Other statistical studies indicated that almost 24 percent of all people with HIV need some form of drug abuse treatment.
These worrying and surprising statistics clarify why these two co-occurring disorders are proclaimed as intertwined epidemics. However, you may wonder why drug addiction appears to influence the spread of HIV. The following point explains the potential risk.
Why Drug Addiction Increases HIV Risk
There is a massive connection between drug use and HIV and how substance abuse can increase the risk of HIV. These risks include:
- The dangers of HIV transmission increases when users share needles from injection drugs such as heroin
- Drugs and alcohol weaken the immune system increasing the chances of spreading and transmitting HIV and AIDS
- Unsafe addictive behaviors may cause inappropriate sexual habits leading to increased risks of spreading HIV
- Reusing drug kits such as syringes, bottle caps, spoons, among others, which at times contain HIV infections.
The above risks are the reason why health providers recommend drug addicts to test for HIV and AIDS, especially if they engage in risky sexual behaviors. However, there are several subgroups of the population where HIV and drug addiction are a more common incidence.
Who is at Higher Risk for These Co-Occurring Disorders
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has noted certain people who are at risk for HIV and AIDS and also how drug addiction influence its transmission. CDC also observed that specific sections of the population are vulnerable to being continuous victims of these co-occurring disorders, which include:
- Those struggling with poverty or other financial limitations
- Homosexual men who participate in promiscuous sex and excessive drug and alcohol consumption
- People with a history of abuse, such as sexual, physical, or emotional mistreatment primarily caused by a loved one
- Sections of the population who struggle with mental health illnesses
- Users who use injection drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine.
Support for HIV and Drug Addiction
Overcoming drug addiction and successfully treating HIV is possible, especially by undergoing a concentrated and professional therapy. If you or someone you know is struggling with these two conditions, there is help available.
Fortunately, you can now obtain treatment programs from both these conditions even when combined, though not without challenges. Therefore, ensure you contact us today to discover more about how to get treatment from HIV and drug addiction.