Problem

Vulnerability of drug users to AIDS

Nature:
There is a high risk of the intravenous drug user falling victim to the disease AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). The AIDS virus is transmitted through the sharing of a contaminated needle. A variety of illicit drugs taken by mouth, such as marijuana and cocaine, are known to suppress the user's immune system and could predispose the person to the AIDS infection.
Incidence:
It is estimated that from 10 to 20% of AIDS patients are intravenous drug abusers, although the figure varies from country to country. On average, in industrialized countries in 1991, less than 10% of AIDS was thought to be attributable to bloodborne infection (either by blood transfusion or shared needles).

In the UK, drug use was estimated to be responsible for around 15% of AIDS cases in 1993, falling to around 7% in 1997. In Liverpool and Amsterdam, where injecting drug addicts are able to get clean needles on the state, HIV infection rates were as low as 8%. In Italy, where drug addicts are hounded and imprisoned, infection rates reached 70% in the early 1990s. Also in some areas of Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and the USA, between 20-50% of injecting drug users were HIV positive.

Problem Type:
E: Emanations of other problems
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 10: Reduced Inequality
Date of last update
01.01.2000 – 00:00 CET