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Intravenous Drug Use and the Heterosexual Transmission of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus: Current Trends in New York City

NCJ Number
New York State Journal of Medicine Volume: 87 Issue: 5 Dated: (May 1987) Pages: 283-286
Date Published
4 pages
This study reviews data from New York City relevant to potential heterosexual transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among intravenous (IV) drug users and potential transmission from IV drug users to their heterosexual partners who do not inject drugs.
Data to date indicate there has been relatively little HIV transmission through heterosexual activity compared to transmission through the sharing of drug injection equipment. This may be because the efficiency of HIV transmission through the sharing of drug equipment may be much greater than transmission through unprotected vaginal intercourse. Differences may also be due to the frequency with which a person performs acts likely to transmit the virus and the number of persons with whom those acts are practiced. Also, many of the females with whom IV drug users have sex are prostitutes, who tend to use 'safe sex' procedures. Prevention of HIV transmission from shared drug injection equipment may be critical for the control of the heterosexual transmission of HIV in New York City. Projects currently underway in New York City are expanded drug treatment programs, anti-body testing of IV users and their partners, and the education of IV users designed to reduce their high-risk practices of drug injection. 15 references.

Date Published: January 1, 1987