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International News

UN Official Says Methamphetamine Abuse Spreading HIV Among Asian Youth

April 9, 2003

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!

The increase in amphetamine-type injection drugs is putting young Asians at risk of contracting HIV and other diseases, a UN official in Thailand warned Tuesday at an international conference on drug use. "We are witnessing a human tragedy unfolding at an alarming pace affecting our children and young people," said Robert Bennoun, regional advisor on HIV/AIDS for UNICEF. People ages 15-24 account for the majority of new HIV/AIDS infections worldwide, and many of the infections come from intravenous drug use, including the new trend of injecting amphetamine-type drugs, according to UNICEF. The drugs normally come in pills.

"Recent research has shown users of amphetamine-type substances are increasingly injecting their drugs of choice," a UNICEF statement said, noting about 33 million such users live in Asia. Bennoun also warned against a heavy-handed approach to rehabilitating young abusers: He called for more effective and coordinated policies to deal with the growing problem.

"Incarcerating young people in detention centers or their equivalent only serves to split families and communities with no evidence of effective result," Bennoun said at the five-day conference, which opened Sunday in the northern city of Chiang Mai. Hundreds of academic and other experts there are exploring ways to reduce the dangers stemming from drug use, including the spread of AIDS, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, and alcohol- and tobacco-related illnesses.

Back to other CDC news for April 9, 2003

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Adapted from:
Associated Press
04.08.03

A note from TheBody.com: Since this article was written, the HIV pandemic has changed, as has our understanding of HIV/AIDS and its treatment. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!



  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
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