Combating AIDS via drug users

December 15, 1995

Public health campaigns which accept that some drug users will continue to use drugs play a vital role in combating the AIDS threat, according to a Canadian expert.

Eric Single, professor of preventive medicine and biostatistics in the University of Toronto, told the fourth national conference on drugs and AIDS this week in Edinburgh that the spread of HIV infection has been associated with intravenous drug use.

Professor Single said that "harm reduction" such as authorities running needle exchange schemes, "is not a perfect solution, but it's the best I can see".

There was also growing evidence that people who engage in high-risk sex may also be heavier users of alcohol, cannabis, ecstasy, crack and other non-injected drugs, he told the conference, organised by Edinburgh University's alcohol research group and the Addictions Forum.

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