Substance Use and HIV
Much of ACRIA's HIV treatment education work is provided for people who are active drug users or in various states of recovery. We regularly conduct workshops at syringe exchange programs and other harm reduction sites. But until now, we haven't devoted an issue of ACRIA Update specifically to HIV and substance use. Misconceptions and assumptions about the relationship between drug use and HIV disease come up all the time during our workshops. Although there are only partial answers to many questions about drug use and HIV, a lot of data exist that can give us a better understanding of the relationship between the two.
We hope that the articles in this issue of ACRIA Update will help you better understand and address the concerns of many people with HIV. In addition to articles about crystal meth, the effect of drug use on HIV disease progression, and how HIV treatment works for active users, we've included a list of known and potential interactions between HIV-related medications and street/recreational drugs as well as interactions with methadone.
The information is meant to help HIV-positive drug users understand the possible risks of combining various drugs and, if they choose to do so, to be as safe as possible. This is the essence of harm reduction -- to reduce harm. We thank our colleagues at the Harm Reduction Coalition for their invaluable assistance with this issue of ACRIA Update.
This article was provided by AIDS Community Research Initiative of America. It is a part of the publication ACRIA Update. Visit ACRIA's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.