Saturday, April 29, 2017

Can I get HIV by injecting drugs? Other types of drugs?

Yes. Your risk for getting HIV is very high if you use needles or works (such as cookers, cotton, or water) after someone with HIV has used them.
People who inject drugs, hormones, steroids, or silicone can get HIV by sharing needles or syringes and other injection equipment. The needles and equipment may have someone else’s blood in them, and blood can transmit HIV. Likewise, you’re at risk for getting hepatitis B and C if you share needles and works because these infections are also transmitted through blood.
Another reason people who inject drugs can get HIV (and other sexually transmitted diseases) is that when people are high, they’re more likely to have risky sex.
If you keep injecting drugs, you can lower your risk for getting HIV by using only new, sterile needles and works each time you inject. Never share needles or works. For more information on how to lower your risk, see How can I prevent getting HIV from drug use?

What about using other types of drugs?
Drinking alcohol, particularly binge drinking, and using “club drugs” like Ecstasy, ketamine, GHB, and poppers can alter your judgment, lower your inhibitions, and impair your decisions about sex or other drug use. You may be more likely to have unplanned and unprotected sex, have a harder time using a condom the right way every time you have sex, have more sexual partners, or use other drugs, including injection drugs or meth. Those behaviors can increase your risk of exposure to HIV. If you have HIV, they can also increase your risk of spreading HIV to others. Being drunk or high affects your ability to make safe choices.
If you’re going to a party or another place where you know you’ll be drinking or using drugs, you can bring a condom so that you can reduce your risk if you have vaginal or anal sex.
Therapy, medicines, and other methods are available to help you stop or cut down on drinking or using drugs. Talk with a counselor, doctor, or other health care provider about options that might be right for you. To find a substance abuse treatment center near you, check out the locator tools on or, or call 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
Learn more about how to protect yourself, and get information tailored to meet your needs from CDC’s HIV Risk Reduction Tool (BETA).

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