Opioid abuse has become a major public health problem in the U.S. According to the Centers for Diseases Control (CDC), overdose deaths involving prescription opioids increased to about 19,000 deaths in 2014, more than four times the number in 2000. In 2012, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an estimated 2.1 million people suffered from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers, with an estimated 467,000 addicted to heroin.
Heroin and other opioids are often injected. According to Harm Reduction International, HIV prevalence is 28 times higher in people who inject drugs compared with the rest of the population. Read more.
World AIDS Day Symposium
Thursday, December 1, 2016
8:00 – 9:30 am • Coffee & Breakfast Provided
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health • Kresge G2
In 2015, experts were caught off guard when an HIV epidemic exploded in a rural Indiana town. Prescription painkillers were being ground up and injected, often with shared needles, an easy route for HIV transmission.
The U.S. is in the midst of an unprecedented opioid epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1,379 people died of an overdose in Massachusetts last year. The threat of another HIV outbreak among injection drug users looms, not only in the U.S., but around the world. The symposium will address the current opioid crisis and ways to limit or prevent future HIV outbreaks.