Preventing the Spread of HIV Through Injection Drug Use
Hi, my name is [PRESENTER NAME]. I’m [PRESENTER ROLE]. Welcome to “Preventing the Spread of HIV Through Injection Drug Use.” This video will teach you information that can save your life, so please listen carefully and watch the whole video.
You’ve probably heard of HIV/AIDS and know that it can severely affect your life and even kill you. But what can you do to reduce your risk of contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS?
This video explains ways to reduce or eliminate your risk of contracting HIV through injection drug use, saving your life, the life of any current or future sexual partner, and if you are a woman, the lives of any future children. A longer video we have produced called “A Brief Introduction to HIV and AIDS” covers more detailed information, discusses other ways besides injection drug use that HIV is transmitted, and explains how to reduce or eliminate those risks as well.
Sexual contact is the most common way HIV is transmitted. However, it is important to realize that the sharing of needles by injection drug users actually poses a higher risk of HIV transmission than sexual contact.
HIV is present in the blood of an infected person. If a person with HIV uses a needle to inject a drug, some of their blood gets in and on the needle. If another person uses that same dirty needle, the other person may contract HIV as a result.
Obviously, the best way to avoid contracting HIV through injection drug use is to not inject drugs. Using drugs has many risks, including the risk of other severe illnesses due to impurities in the drugs and the risk of dying from an overdose. If you are currently using drugs, please talk to a doctor about getting into a treatment program that could help you stop.
If you choose to inject drugs, the best way to avoid contracting HIV is to use your own needles and not share them. You cannot contract HIV from a new, clean, unused, sterile needle that you just removed from its package. Many places have needle exchange programs where you can turn in dirty needles and get free new needles in return.
It is extremely dangerous to use a needle that has already been used by another person to inject anything into your body. As an absolute last resort, if you are about to use a dirty needle to inject a drug, you can clean the needle and syringe thoroughly inside and out with a bleach solution and rinse it with water to reduce your risk of contracting HIV.
No matter who you are, you are a valuable individual, and your life matters as do the lives of those in your community. Take care of yourself and those around you. Make healthy choices that eliminate or reduce your risk of contracting HIV.
Thank you for your help in the fight against HIV. This is [PRESENTER NAME].
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This script was reviewed for accuracy and approved by Becky Kuhn, M.D. on July 30, 2011.