“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued an alert to public health departments and clinicians nationwide to be vigilant for HIV outbreaks similar to Indiana’s, while warning of overlapping hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission among injection drug users (IDUs). The CDC issued the health advisory at the same time as it published an account of the Indiana outbreak in its April 24 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).
Nationally, acute hep C infections rose 150 percent between 2010 and 2013 as an epidemic of addiction to opioid painkillers has swept the country, the use of which has often led people to inject heroin as a cheaper or more readily available alternative to the prescription drugs. The Indiana HIV outbreak is related to injection of the opiate Opana (oxymorphone). See related article on Opana in this news updates.
The CDC recommends that clinicians and health departments remain vigilant for emerging HIV and hep C as a result of injection drug use, and to use contact tracing after someone tests positive to look for other people infected with either virus. Regular testing is recommended for those at risk. For IDUs, the CDC stresses the importance of access to drug treatment, opioid replacement therapy, counseling on safe injection methods, and access to sterile injection equipment.”
Source: AidsMed.com – April 27, 2015