Drug Use and Hiv/Aids
One of the most dangerous problems attendant on drug abuse is shared or dirty needles. Needles can inject the Human-Immuno-Deficiency Virus (HIV) virus that can cause Auto Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). It is estimated that 50 to 80 percent of all needle-using heroin addicts in the New York City area test positive for the HIV virus. One method of insuring against HIV is through methadone maintenance. The use of contaminated needles put pregnant IV users at risk to becoming infected with AIDS. AIDS is a disease that is most often fatal because it destroys the immune system, the body’s mechanism that normally fights off infection. One of the biggest new risks is tuberculosis, one of the main killers of HIV-infected people. The growing epidemic of TB among people with AIDS or HIV brings up an interesting point about identification of HIV-infected people since they are also TB carriers.