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Notice to Readers Publication of HIV-Prevention Bulletin for Health-Care Providers Regarding Advice to Persons Who Inject Illicit Drugs

Persons who inject illicit drugs are at risk for acquiring and transmitting bloodborne infections, including human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. CDC, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration have released a bulletin for health-care providers that contains the following provisional recommendations for persons who continue to inject illicit drugs:

  1. Stop using and injecting drugs.

  2. Enter and complete substance-abuse treatment, including relapse prevention.

  3. If use of illicit injected drugs continues, take the following steps to reduce personal health risks and public health risks:

    1. Never reuse or "share" syringes, water, or drug-preparation equipment.

    2. Use only syringes obtained from a safe, reliable source (e.g., pharmacies).

    3. Use a new, sterile syringe to prepare and inject drugs.

    4. If possible, use sterile water to prepare drugs; otherwise use clean water from a reliable source (such as fresh tap water).

    5. Use a new or disinfected container ("cooker") and a new filter ("cotton") to prepare drugs.

    6. Clean the injection site before injection with a new alcohol swab.

    7. Safely dispose of syringes after one use.

    Single copies of the bulletin are available free of charge from the CDC National AIDS Clearinghouse, telephone (800) 458-5231 or (301) 217-0023. The bulletin is also available on the World-Wide Web at

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