Link between drug abuse and HIV/AIDS


HIV/AIDS is one of the deadliest diseases that have been shaking the world killing more than 25 million people, of which more than 500,000 are Americans. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 40,000 Americans are infected with HIV annually and a large number of them are not yet 25 years old. Just like addiction, this disease has also been successful in spreading its effects to all countries across the globe, affecting people irrespective of their socio-economic strata, religion and gender. But researches conducted in this field show that certain groups are more prone to be affected than others and this vulnerability is absolutely related to their behavior pattern.

Drug abusers have been identified as one of the most vulnerable groups. A NIDA International Program supported research has shown that 5% of the world’s population between the age group 15 to 64 years abuses drugs and that this group acts as a pool of infectivity transmitting the infection to others as well. Young people are at a risk of contraction since they are engaged in more risk-taking and sensation seeking behavior and use of drugs increases the probability of engaging in such behavior.

Injection drug abuse has been known to be one of the greatest factors in the spread of the disease. Since the beginning of the epidemic it has, directly or indirectly, accounted for about 1/3rd  of the AIDS cases in the United States.

But non-injecting drug use also has its role to play. The intoxicating effects of drugs disrupts the parts of the brain associated with judgment and inhibitions thereby making people more prone to engage in impulsive unsafe behavior like unsafe sexual practice.

Addiction affects the overall health condition thereby escalating the susceptibility to HIV contraction.  

Prevention is the key word. Stay healthy; do not choose drugs and think clearly before taking any decision.

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