Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and tuberculosis among minority injection drug users

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Objective: This article reviews the literature on the impact of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV, HCV), and tuberculosis on minority drug injectors in the United States. Observations: Injection drug use is a key factor in the transmission of blood-borne pathogens, and HIV disease is exacerbated by tuberculosis infection. Minority drug injectors are disproportionately represented in the national statistics on these infections. Behavioral epidemiologic studies show that both injection-related risk factors (years of injecting drugs, type of drug injected, direct and indirect sharing of injection paraphernalia) and sex-related risk factors (lack of condom use, multiple sexual partners, survival sex) are conducive to the spread of HIV, HBV, and HCV. Conclusions: Two issues must be addressed to halt the spread of HIV infection and hepatitis B and C. The capacity of syringe-exchange programs to refer participants to drug treatment programs and facilitate access to health and social services must be increased. Culturally appropriate behavioral interventions targeting risk behaviors among ethnic and racial minorities, especially women, must be developed and put in place.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S126-S134
JournalPublic Health Reports
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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