“The U.S. prescription drug abuse epidemic has increased the risk of HIV outbreaks in rural and suburban communities, where up to now the virus has posed little threat, warns a new case study.
Needle-sharing among prescription drug addicts created an outbreak in rural Scott County, Ind. Public health officials report HIV infected 181 people there between November 2014 and November 2015.
“It was the largest outbreak that has occurred in the U.S. since the introduction of HIV treatment,” said lead author Dr. Philip Peters, a medical officer with the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “And it occurred in a poor and rural community. We have not seen HIV outbreaks in these types of communities before.”
Many of the infected people had crushed and cooked down the extended-release form of the opioid pain pill oxymorphone (Opana ER). The result was an injectable slurry, which increased potency and dodged drug-making technologies intended to prevent abuse, Peters said.
But the dose created by this process proved too powerful.”
Source: ConsumerHealthDay.com – July 20, 2016