Hiv / Aids And Hepatitis C

911 WordsMay 31, 20164 Pages
HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C: How It Relates to Substance Abuse Introduction Everyday people put themselves at risk of catching a virus, but when an individual is an abuser of substances the odds of catching an infection become much higher. There are instances one may experience and brush off as not serious for example, one may assume that catching a cold poses no substantial threat to any individual as it usually passes in a week. However, if the individual is immunocompromised due to being HIV positive, even the common cold suddenly becomes deadly. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “more than 1.2 million people in the United States are living with the HIV infection” (“HIV in the US,” 2015). In addition to the HIV virus, people who abuse substances are also at risk of contracting Hepatitis C (HCV). The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that there are about 3.2 million people living with a chronic infection of Hepatitis C (“Office of Population affairs,” 2012). Though this does not apply to all who abuse substances, many engage in risky behaviors that make them more vulnerable of falling victim to such viruses. The misuse of drugs often impairs the functions/judgments of those using them, which ultimately lead to making poor decisions. These decisions can range anywhere from engaging in unprotected sex to exchanging used needles. Both HIV and HCV live in an infected person’s blood and bodily fluids and are therefore
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