Transmission of other bloodborne infections, particularly HIV and hepatitis B virus (HBV), is also increasing among injection-drug users, albeit at a slower rate. The opioid epidemic has also been linked to increasing rates of syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections, microbial endocarditis, and other infections associated with unsafe drug injection.3

The social and economic costs of the HCV epidemic could be staggering. Most injection-drug users who become infected with HCV do so as young adults. Such people are at risk for chronic hepatitis C and could face years of hefty health care expenses; left untreated, they may transmit HCV to others. The cost of caring for people with HCV places further strain on an already fragile health care system. Furthermore, because young adults are entering their most productive years, HCV will affect the economic productivity of the country for years to come. (DACA Comment – What is not included in this concerning report is that much of the increase in STI’s is not only due to the misuse of injecting equipment, but unsafe sexual activity engaged in whilst on the illicit drug, be it opioids or ATS. The ‘band aid’ of trying ‘manage’ the ‘disease’ of drug use with mechanisms that do not lead to exit from drug use, only add a further burden of disease and a comorbid condition, which is yet another epidemiological short coming of Harm Reduction ONLY ideologies and practices!) 

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