The Significance of HIV and Hepatitis C in Substance
Use Disorders | HIV/AIDS Epidemiology | Hepatitis C Epidemiology | Prevention of HIV and HCV Transmission in Drug Users | Treatment | Psychiatric Aspects of Substance Use Disorders and
HIV and HCV | Medical Care for HIV- and
HCV-Infected Drug Users | Conclusion | Key Points | References | Suggested Reading
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immunodeficiency
syndrome (AIDS), and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections are defining
features of the landscape of medical comorbidity seen in substance
use disorders. The connection between HIV and substance use is significant
primarily because injection drug use is a major conduit for HIV
transmission to heterosexual adults, women, minorities, and children.
Injection drug use is also the major risk factor for new HCV infections
(Sulkowski and Thomas 2005). Noninjection substance
use is also known to be associated with increased risk for contracting
HIV and, to a lesser degree, HCV.