Intravenous drug use and HIV / AIDS prevention - reducing the risk

How to prevent a transmission of HIV (infection)?

If possible, do not share needles or any other component of injection drug use (water, soil ...) with any other person...

If you already share a syringe and needle with other people, keep in mind that cleaning (disinfection) with bleach, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and etc. is not entirely safe but it is very important procedure to reduce the risk; to be effective, you must be diligent and careful to clean syringes.

... and if you do it anyway, clean the syringe immediately before and immediately after use.

Before use of bleach or similar sanitizers, rinse the syringe with water to remove residues of dried or fresh blood from a syringe. Fill the syringe with a disinfectant and leave it for a 2 minutes. Empty the syringe and repeat the process. When finished, rinse the syringe 2 times with water.

Note:

• Bleach should not be diluted.
• It is important to rinse the needle and syringe with water, but if a small amount of bleach is left in a syringe and ends in your bloodstream, it is unlikely to cause any effect.
• Be sure to leave the bleach in the syringe for 2 minutes to kill the Hepatitis B (HIV will be neutralized after 30 seconds). It is not known whether bleach kills Hepatitis C.
• If you do not have bleach, you can use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol. Use pure alcohol - no beer, wine or brandy. Follow the same recommendation as for the bleach - hold it for 2 minutes in a syringe.

Sharing a syringe and needle with your close friends and acquaintances is as much as dangerous as sharing it with total strangers.

What are the risks in question?

It has been known for a long time that people who use a common syringe and needle bear are at great risk of being infected with HIV if any of them already have HIV. Using the same syringe and needle among more people allows that a blood of one person comes into direct contact with blood of the others. When a person sticks a needle into the vein, it first pulls the plunger back to check that the needle is in the vein - if so, and then enters the blood through a needle into the syringe. A little of that blood may still be in the needle and syringe when the next person takes the same benefit.

People who injects drugs into a vein with a needle and syringe that previously has not been used by someone else's will not be at risk to get HIV, unrelated to the drug use. The exchange of blood is what causes the infection.

The social aspect

When people use a sterile syringe each time they inject drugs, they reduce the risk of infection with HIV and hepatitis. Sharing syringes with others, significantly increases the risk of getting these infections transmitted through blood.

Studies show that people who inject drugs responded to the threat of AIDS so that they minimize the sharing of syringes and needles among themselves.

The position of the Youth of JAZAS:

• From the the health point of view, it is best to not inject drugs or use drugs at all. We can refer you to organizations that deal with this problem and can provide assistance.
• If people do use drugs and inject them, it is best to use new, sterile syringes and needles every time you use drugs and never share a syringe with the others.
• If people share needles with each other, it is very important to ALWAYS thoroughly clean and disinfect them before and after use (between the two of use).

Sexual activity and injection drug

Keep always in mind that if you share needles and syringes with other people you can put yourself and your sexual partner (or partners) in risk of getting infection through sexual activity.

Injecting drug use and Hepatitis

People who use drugs by injectioning into a vein, with a risk of getting an HIV, are in additional risk to get hepatitis B and C. These viruses are also transmited through blood much easier than is a case with HIV. This is due to much higher concentrations of viral hepatitis in blood and their ability to survive outside the human body.

For safer use of drugs and to avoid infection with hepatitis B and C, drug users should not share with each other the components of the equipment (syringe, needle, cotton, water, bucket, etc.).