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HIV Prevention: Safer Drug Use

Using street drugs can weaken your immune system, especially if you’re not eating or sleeping on a regular schedule. A weakened immune system means you are more likely to get sick and have a tough time dealing with infections. If you’re going to use, learn about HIV transmission and make it as safe as you can. Taking HIV treatment and using can cause complications.

  • When you’re using drugs, safer sex is less likely to happen. Carry condoms so you have them if needed.
  • Learn what to expect from your drugs and when you should get medical help in the case of overdose.
  • Have your own equipment, and don’t lend or borrow your stuff. Sharing needles, cookers, pipes, and cotton can put you at risk for Hepatitis C or other blood- borne illnesses, including re-exposure to HIV.
  • Use a fresh needle every time, or if you can’t make sure you clean the ones you re-use. Look after your veins by rotating where you inject. Injecting in the same spot over and over again can irritate your veins and lead to infection.

Reducing the amount you use and how often you use can help your health a lot. We can help.

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