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Hidden Casualties: Consequences of Opioid Epidemic on the Spread of Infectious Diseases

Article from HIV.gov


Syringe Injecting Globe Image

According to HIV.gov, "The opioid crisis in the United States has reached epidemic levels with a public health emergency declared by President Trump. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of death among individuals under 50 years of age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 90 Americans die each day from opioid overdose, including heroin. A lesser known consequence of the opioid epidemic is that increases in injection drug use are driving rates of infectious diseases and related conditions: hepatitis C virus (HCV) rates have increased almost 300 percent, and increases have been seen in some areas in hepatitis B virus (HBV), HIV, endocarditis, septic arthritis, epidural abscess, osteomyelitis, and infants exposed to hepatitis C. As rates of opioid use have risen, so have the rates of related infections."

This article has a number of videos from the meeting of federal stakeholders at the US Department of Health and Human Services addressing the opioid epidemic and spread of infectious diseases.