The CDC recommends that people who inject drugs should be regularly
- stop using and injecting drugs.
- enter and complete substance abuse treatment, including relapse
For injection drug users who cannot or will
not stop injecting drugs, the following steps may be
taken to reduce personal and public health
- Never reuse
or "share" syringes,
water, or drug preparation equipment.
- Only use syringes obtained from a reliable source (such
as pharmacies or needle exchange programs).
- Use a new, sterile syringe each time to prepare and inject
- If possible, use sterile water to prepare drugs; otherwise,
use clean water from a reliable source (such as fresh tap water).
- Use a new or
disinfected container ("cooker")
and a new filter ("cotton") to prepare drugs.
- Clean the injection site with a new alcohol swab prior
- Safely dispose of syringes after one use.
If new, sterile
syringes and other drug preparation and injection equipment are not
then previously used equipment should
be boiled in water or disinfected with bleach before reuse. More information
on reducing HIV risks associated with drug infection is contained in
the "HIV Prevention
Bulletin: Medical Advice For Persons Who Inject Illicit Drugs" (May
users and their sex partners also should take precautions, such as
consistently and correctly, to reduce risks of
sexual transmission of HIV. For more information on condoms, see "Male
Latex Condoms and Sexually Transmitted Diseases."
Persons who continue to inject drugs should periodically be tested
for HIV. For information on locating an HIV testing site,
National HIV Testing Resources Web site.
If you would like more information or have personal concerns, call
CDC-INFO 8A-8P (EST) M-F. Closed weekends and major federal holidays at 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636), 1-888-232-6348 (TTY), in English, en Espaņol.