How Injection Drug Use Can Lead to HIV

Not only can HIV be spread through unprotected sex, but it can also infect people by injection drug use.

According to www.aids.gov, approximately 10 percent of the United States’ annual HIV cases are linked to injection drug use. Of that 10 percent, 2,400 cases were men, while 1,500 cases were women.

Any time someone has drugs in their system, whether it be crack cocaine, methamphetamine or heroin, a person’s judgment is skewed. Being under the influence of these different drugs can cause a person to do things they wouldn’t normally do. Unfortunately, these decisions could end up affecting the rest of their life.

First, it could cause someone to think that sharing a needle to inject drugs is no big deal when, in fact, it has the potential to be a life-changing decision. By injecting a person’s already used needle, you are essentially transmitting their blood straight into your bloodstream. Mixing someone else’s blood should never happen because you can’t be sure of what another person might have going through their blood stream, such as HIV.

Another way injection drug use could be a possible way to transmit HIV is because of skewed judgment. When a person has these drugs in their system, it could cause them to think that having unprotected sex won’t have any effect on them. When you engage in unprotected sex, you are putting yourself at risk of being infected with not only HIV, but also other STI’s or diseases.

Lastly, it can cause a person to think that they don’t need to get tested. By being under the influence of different drugs, it’s likely someone might not even remember engaging in sexual activity or using a dirty needle, causing them to put others at risk if they now carry the virus.

If you have ever injected drugs, or have had sex with someone who has, we suggest getting tested as soon as you can. We encourage you to not use injected drugs and urge you to get help if you, or a friend, needs it.

If you would like to get tested for HIV, Hepatitis C, or STI’s, please contact our office today at (918) 749-8378. If you or someone you know is needing help with substance abuse, please call the Drug Abuse Hotline at 1-888-744-0069.