National Drug Abuse and Alcohol Facts Week

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teachers, this week is National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week. This week is a national observance to promote awareness about drug and alcohol abuse. So, what does that have to do with STD prevention? Well, many STDs can be transmitted through the use of intravenous drug equipment such as needles. 

HIV can be transmitted through exposure to bodily fluids such as blood, semen or vaginal secretion. While HIV is commonly transmitted through sexual activity, it can also be transmitted by sharing needles or syringes or other equipment used to prepare drugs for injection with someone who has HIV. HIV can live in a used needle up to 42 days depending on temperature and other factors. 

Hepatitis B and hepatitis C can also be transmitted this way. While many people are vaccinated these days for hepatitis B, hepatitis C has no vaccination. Additionally, certain generations of people, such as the Baby Boomer generation, are more commonly diagnosed with hepatitis C. Recently, there has been an increase in opioid use among young people. This has led to an increase in hepatitis rates throughout the U.S.

There are many health consequences to drug and alcohol abuse. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes that people with addiction to drug and alcohol are at a higher risk for contracted STDs and HIV. The CDC recommends seeking medical care if you believe you may have a drug or alcohol addiction.

If you are concerned that you may be experiencing symptoms of HIV or hepatitis, or may have been exposed to these viruses, you should seek medical assistance right away. Since these viruses can be transmitted through drug use, having STD testing performed can help you to know the current status of your sexual health. This is the best way to know your status. If available in your area, In-Home Collectioneven allows you to be tested at home, work or another location of your choice.

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