CDC: Needle exchanges help reduce HIV rates

The rate of needle sharing for that group fell by 34-percent

(CNN) – December first is world aids day a chance for people to unite in the fight against the HIV, show their support for people living with it, and to commemorate people who have died from it.

In the United States, injection drug use is responsible for nine-percent of all new HIV diagnoses.

That’s a sizable drop from the early 90s. When diagnoses among drug users peaked.

The US centers for disease control say needle exchanges have played a role in that huge drop.

Needle exchanges have contributed to significant drops in new HIV infection rates among African-American and Latino drug users according to research from the CDC.

Needle exchanges provide sterile syringes to users. Who often share needles.

One-third of all intravenous drug users say they have shared needles in the past year. A dangerous practice that can transmit blood borne disease like HIV, hepatitis b and hepatitis c.

The CDC’s research found that rates of new HIV diagnoses among African-American users dropped nearly 60-percent between 2008 and 2014.

At the same time, the rate of needle sharing for that group fell by 34-percent.

Among Latino drug users, the rate of new HIV infections dropped almost 50-percent.

Needle-sharing among that demographic fell by 12-percent.

But the trend isn’t holding up for white intravenous drug users for them, new infection rates fell by only 27-percent during the study period.

And more than 40-percent of white drug users say they share needles about the same rate as a decade ago.