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How Can Injection Drug Users Reduce Their Risk for HIV Infection?

January 22, 2007

The CDC recommends that people who inject drugs should be regularly counseled to

For injection drug users who cannot or will not stop injecting drugs, the following steps may be taken to reduce personal and public health risks:

If new, sterile syringes and other drug preparation and injection equipment are not available, then previously used equipment should be boiled in water or disinfected with bleach before reuse. More information on reducing HIV risks associated with drug infection is contained in the "HIV Prevention Bulletin: Medical Advice For Persons Who Inject Illicit Drugs" (May 9, 1997).

Injection drug users and their sex partners also should take precautions, such as using condoms consistently and correctly, to reduce risks of sexual transmission of HIV. For more information on condoms, see "Male Latex Condoms and Sexually Transmitted Diseases."

Persons who continue to inject drugs should periodically be tested for HIV. For information on locating an HIV testing site, visit the National HIV Testing Resources Web site.

If you would like more information or have personal concerns, call CDC-INFO 24 Hours/Day at 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636), 1-888-232-6348 (TTY), in English, en Español.

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