From the Director
It is hard to believe that the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic has been with us for a quarter of a century now. Today, an entire generation of young adults has never known a world without HIV/AIDS.
Early in the epidemic, drug abuse and HIV were typically connected in peoples minds with injection drug use and needle sharing. However, this view greatly underestimates the impact that drug abuse can have on the spread of HIV and AIDS through the dangerous risk behaviors it engenders. Drug and alcohol intoxication affect judgment and can lead to risky sexual behaviors that put people in danger of contracting or transmitting HIV. In addition, substance abuse may facilitate the progression of HIV infections by further compromising the immune system.
Initially characterized by relatively localized outbreaks, HIV/AIDS has now become a pandemic that has literally put the world at risk, affecting diverse populations in different ways. And while all nations are affected by HIV/AIDS, each faces differing underlying causes requiring customized prevention and treatment strategies.
NIDAs response to the ongoing epidemic of HIV/AIDS is multifaceted. We support research to learn more about the pivotal role of drug abuse in the spread of HIV/AIDS and to develop effective strategies to prevent and treat this disease. NIDA has established that drug abuse treatment is HIV prevention. This Research Report is designed to highlight the state of the science and raise awareness of the linkages between drug abuse and HIV/AIDS.
Nora D. Volkow, M.D.
National Institute on Drug Abuse
This report is also available in PDF format, HIV/AIDS, [PDF format, 492 KB]
All materials appearing in the Research Reports Series are in the public domain and may be reproduced without permission from NIDA. Citation of the source is appreciated.
To obtain printed copies of this report, please call or write the National Clearinghouse on Alcohol and Drug Information, P.O. Box 2345, Rockville, MD 20852, 1-800-729-6686. NIDA Research Report - HIV/AIDS: NIH Publication No. 06-5760, Printed March 2006.
times since 11/18/05.