In the midst of America’s ongoing opioid crisis, 95 hepatitis, HIV
In letters sent this week to the House and Senate, advocates detailed how addiction to heroin and prescription painkillers is fueling new cases of several infectious diseases, including hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis B virus (HBV) and HIV. The letters also argue that a significant investment is
Below are some of the troubling statistics cited in the call for action:
- Between 2010 and 2015, new cases of hepatitis C increased by 290 percent across the country.
- An estimated 70 percent of those new cases were a direct result of injection drug use.
- Admissions to drug admissions for patients who inject opioids increased by 93 percent.
- Significant increases in hepatitis B– and injection-drug-use-related HIV are also on the rise.
Advocates also note that during
“These programs are the first line of defense for reducing infectious disease risk and increasing overdose prevention efforts and linkage to substance use disorder treatment and recovery. These programs need additional resources, though, if we want them to reach their full potential,” said Daniel Raymond, the Harm Reduction Coalition’s deputy director of planning and policy, which signed on to the initiative.
Other supporting organizations include NASTAD and the AIDS Institute.