HIV Infection Down Among IV Drug Users in New York City, Brazil
HIV infection rates are dropping among intravenous drug users in New York City and Brazil, according to preliminary results of the second phase of the World Health Organization's multicenter study of HIV in drug users. Reuters Health reports that the rate of HIV infection among IV drug users in New York City has dropped from about 50% to 20%, although Reuters does not report the years of the data, while the rate of new infection has declined from 4% to 1% per year. Dr. Don Des Jarlais of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York said that these figures are "the first indication" that "sustained prevention work" can prove successful at controlling a "big epidemic." However, he added that an infection rate of 20% is "unacceptably high." Meanwhile, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, HIV infection among IV drug users has declined to 8.5%, down from 27% (with no dates provided by Reuters). Dr. Francisco Inacio Bastos, deputy coordinator of the Fiocruz AIDS Program in Rio, said that similar drops have been noted in the Brazilian cities of Santos and Salvador. Bastos said that intervention strategies such as needle-exchange programs "seem to be making a big impact" on infection rates among IV drug users (Kumar, Reuters Health, 4/16).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.