Now Available: CDC Vital Signs Report on HIV and Injection Drug Use

graphic__dec_hivaids_pr2_final_revThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just announced the release of Vital Signs: Trends in HIV Diagnoses, Risk Behaviors, and Prevention Among Persons Who Inject Drugs, a new report on HIV, injection drug use, and the role of syringe services programs (SSPs) in prevention. Persons who inject drugs (PWID) are at high risk for HIV and other infections if they share needles, syringes, or other injection equipment. This report shows trends in HIV diagnoses among PWID, as well as changes in who is starting to inject drugs and who is sharing injection equipment. Along with trends, the report recommends strategies for reducing HIV infections and syringe sharing among PWID, offering the following suggestions specifically for state and local health departments (LHDs):

  • Use data on HIV, hepatitis, substance use, and overdoses to determine where services are needed.
  • Work with law enforcement and local leaders to expand access to SSPs, where permitted by law.
  • Provide HIV and hepatitis testing and prevention services for PWID.
  • Ensure treatment is available for overdoses, HIV, hepatitis, and substance use disorder, and inform first responders about available resources.

LHDs working to prevent HIV among PWID can enhance their efforts through the following activities:

  1. Read and share the report materials.
  2. Join the conversation via social media channels.
    • Use the hashtags #HIV and #VitalSigns to share stories about how you and your partners are helping to prevent HIV among PWID.
    • Repost and share CDC social media about HIV and injection drug use—look for it on @cdcgov, @cdc_hivaids, and CDC HIV Facebook.
  3. Learn how other communities have implemented SSPs by joining the Vital Signs Town Hall.
    • Tune in to Preventing HIV Among People Who Inject Drugs: The Vital Role of Syringes Services Programs on Tuesday, December 13. View details

Local health departments are encouraged to share these learning opportunities broadly with your colleagues and partners, and to continue learning more about HIV. Thank you for your help in spreading the word that HIV prevention saves lives!

About Kim Rodgers

Kim Rodgers serves as a Communications Specialist at NACCHO. Her work includes promoting local health departments' best practices, as well as partner tools and resources, in infectious disease and preparedness through NACCHO's communications channels, storytelling, and outreach to various audiences.

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