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.

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Vulnerability Assessments

Identifying jurisdictions with increased risk of infectious disease among people who inject drugs.

Page last reviewed: August 31, 2021