Infectious Diseases, Opioids and Injection Drug Use

A deadly consequence of the opioid crisis is increased incidence of blood-borne infections, including hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and bacteria that cause heart infections (endocarditisexternal icon). The use of contaminated injection drug equipment is a primary transmission route for both HIV and hepatitis C. Increasing injection drug use has placed new populations, including young people, at risk.

CDC’s infectious disease programs work to implement evidence-based drug prevention in school and community settings, and to stop the spread of infectious diseases like HIV and hepatitis C among people who inject drugs. Access to comprehensive prevention services is essential for all persons who inject drugs. Syringe services programs reduce syringe sharing and can help provide access to prevention and treatment services for HIV and other blood-borne diseases, such as hepatitis C and hepatitis B. Below are a summary of CDC resources on infectious disease and injection drug use.

Vulnerable Counties and Jurisdictions Experiencing or At-Risk of Outbreaks

Vulnerable Counties and Jurisdictions Experiencing or At-Risk of Outbreaks

County-level Vulnerability to Rapid Dissemination of HIV/HCV Infection Among Persons who Inject Drugs (September, 2015) and Jurisdictions Determined to be Experiencing or At-risk of Significant Increases in Hepatitis Infection or an HIV Outbreak Due to Injection Drug Use Following CDC Consultation (July, 2018).

Map includes top 220 vulnerable counties in 26 states and jurisdictions determined to be experiencing or at-risk of outbreaks, as well as those jurisdictions determined to be experiencing or at-risk of significant increases of viral hepatitis infection or HIV outbreak due to injection drug use following CDC consultation.

Data Sources: ESRI, EUROPA, CDC Consultations on Determinations of Need Requests

Van Handel MM, Rose CE, Hallisey EJ, et. al. County-Level Vulnerability Assessment for Rapid Dissemination of HIV or HCV Infections Among Persons Who Inject Drugs, United States. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2016 Nov 1;73(3): 323-331external icon.

Top 220 Vulnerable Counties in 26 States and Jurisdictions determined to be experiencing or at-risk of outbreaks (States/Territories: 33, Select Counties: 7)

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Page last reviewed: July 19, 2018