|Drug Abuse - HIV/AIDS: A Devastating Combination (UNAIDS - UNDCP, 12 p.)|
The United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) is responsible for leading global drug control activities. Because international drug control is a vital tool for HIV prevention, UNDCP became a cosponsor of UNAIDS in 1999.
Drug abuse is one of the primary ways HIV is spread. It is estimated that more than five percent of all HIV infections are related to injecting drug use with infected needles. Risky sexual behaviour under the influence of drugs, whether they are injected or taken some other way, is another leading cause of HIV transmission.
UNDCP's prevention activities are particularly focused on children and young people. The future of the HIV epidemic lies in the hands of young people. The behavior young people adopt and maintain throughout their lives will determine the course of the epidemic in the decades to come.
Countries and territories reporting injecting drug use and HIV infections among Injecting Drug Users
Sources: Annual reports questionnaire, part 11 on drug abuse (E/NR/199812); Drug Injecting and HIV Infection: Gerry Stimson, Don C. Des Jarlais and Andrew Ball (WHO), UNAIDS/WHO Epi Fact sheet: Prokovski et al, 1999. Pompidou Group Project on Treatment Demand: Final Report on Treated Drug Users in 23 European Cities Data 1997: Trends 1996-97
Note: The boundaries shown on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations
What is AIDS?
AIDS is an incurable condition caused by the virus called HIV. When HIV enters your body, it starts attacking your immune system which normally protects your body against diseases. Over the years, as HIV slowly weakens your immune system, you develop first minor illnesses, and then serious and ultimately life-threatening diseases such as tuberculosis and pneumonia. This is the final stage of infection that doctors call "AIDS".
How do you get HIV?
HIV spreads through unprotected sex (intercourse without a condom), infected blood transfusions, contaminated needles (most often as used for inject drugs) and from an infected mother to her child during pregnancy, child-birth or breastfeeding.
In an effort to target drug abuse among street children, a UNDCP project has developed short prevention videos that are shown in the streets in the regions with the highest crack consumption.
UNDCP also works closely with the country's National AIDS Programme on drug use prevention and AIDS education for drug users.