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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
January 13, 2010

HIV Infection Among Injection-Drug Users—34 States, 2004-2007

JAMA. 2010;303(2):126-128. doi:

MMWR. 2009;58:1291-1295

1 figure, 2 tables omitted

Injection-drug users (IDUs) acquire human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection by sharing drug equipment with HIV-infected persons and by engaging in risky sexual behavior. In 2007, injection-drug use was the third most frequently reported risk factor for HIV infection in the United States, after male-to-male sexual contact and high-risk heterosexual contact.1 To characterize HIV-infected IDUs aged ≥13 years in the United States, CDC analyzed data from the national notifiable disease reporting system for 2004-2007 from the 34 states that had conducted confidential, name-based HIV surveillance since at least 2003. The results of that analysis indicated that, during 2004-2007, 62.2% of IDUs with a new diagnosis of HIV infection were males, 57.5% were blacks or African Americans, and 74.8% lived in urban areas at the time of their HIV diagnosis. In addition, during 2004-2006, approximately 40% of HIV-infected IDUs received late HIV diagnoses (i.e., diagnosis of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome [AIDS] <12 months after the date of HIV diagnosis). To reduce the prevalence of HIV infection and late HIV diagnosis among IDUs, HIV prevention programs serving IDUs should have comprehensive approaches that incorporate access to HIV testing as part of community-based outreach, drug abuse treatment, and syringe exchange programs.