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People who Inject Drugs

Injection drug usage has increased dramatically in rural areas during the last decade. Sharing drug injection equipment such as needles, cookers, water, and cotton puts injection drug users (IDUs) at risk for getting HIV. Sharing equipment generally occurs because IDUs cannot afford enough equipment or there are not enough needles or syringes in a group for everyone to have his/her own.

IDUs face multiple health, social, psychological, and financial risks due to substance abuse, mental illness, poverty, and homelessness. Given these risks, treatment for substance use disorders is also very important for preventing HIV in the IDU population.

Resources to Learn More

Outbreak of Recent HIV and HCV Infections among Persons Who Inject Drugs in Indiana
A notification of recent HIV and HCV outbreaks in Scott County, Indiana. Includes how the community addressed the issue, and additional recommendations for providers and support teams.
Organization(s): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Date: 4/2015

What are Injection Drug Users (IDU) HIV Prevention Needs?
Fact sheet describing the risk factors for HIV infection facing injection drug users, considerations for treatment, and some example programs that are being implemented.
Author(s): DeCarlo, P. & Gibson, D.R.
Organization(s): Center for AIDS Prevention Studies at the University of California San Francisco
Date: 9/2013