How can HIV transmission from injection drug use be prevented?
The best way to avoid HIV infection (and other blood-borne infections like hepatitis B and C) from injection drug use is to stop injecting drugs. Drug treatment can help. If treatment is not available or you cannot quit on your own, use a brand new sterile syringe and needle every time you inject or divide drugs. Do not share drug using "works" with anyone else. This includes needles, syringes, cookers, cottons, mixing and bleaching water, and all other supplies. If you do not have new clean equipment, thoroughly disinfect all drug use tools with bleach before re-use. It is also important to dispose of used works safely. Discarding needles in the trash, on the street, or flushing them down the toilet is dangerous.
Drug use (including use of alcohol) can impair judgment and decision-making. This can increase risk for HIV, especially if you have sex while high. High or not, you can successfully use condoms and clean injection works. Plan ahead, carry condoms and stick to your prevention plan. *A person does not need a prescription to purchase syringes in Nevada. However, a pharmacist may refuse to sell to people based on their own judgment.
Last modified on 01/08/2015
NOTICE: The Washoe County Health District will be changing its name to Northern Nevada Public Health on Aug. 31, 2023. That move will result in major design changes (look and feel) to the website, a new URL (NNPH.org), a new logo and more. More information on the change will be available soon.