Drugs – shortest way to be infected with AIDS

Over the past recent years, there has been a distinct increase in the number of young people addicted to drugs. Drugs have become a global risk, a disaster for every family and causes for crime and , social disorder. Drugs effect health and are a short bridge to death through AIDS.

Why do young people become addicted to drugs? Some of them imitate their friends and want to experience strong sensations and then later become hopelessly addicted to drugs.

According to the Ho Chi Minh City Social Evil Prevention Department, orphaned children, or children whose parents divorce when the children are young; children from wealthy families or families that go through unexpected disasters, families that become involved with various social evils such as robbery, or families that indulge their children or impoverished families are often likely to become susceptible to drug addiction.Drugs and HIV/AIDS have a close connection. According to surveys in rehabilitation, young drug users make up a high rate with 63 percent in Hanoi, 80 percent in Hai Phong and 88 percent in Ho Chi Minh City.

Notably, drug users sometimes share needles and syringes. When starving for drugs, drug users have no mind to pay attention to disinfect needles and syringes. Accordingly, drugs are favorable conditions for HIV to transmit from o­ne to others through needles.

More dangerously, in some southern provinces, some people provide mobile heroin shooting. They sneakily shoot heroin for drug users in coach stations, train stations and parks. They use o­nly o­ne syringe and needles without decontamination. Therefore, it is easy to transmit HIV and tuberculosis virus from o­ne to others.

Over 70 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS in our country are drug users. Their resistance is weak, so they die soon when being infected with AIDS.

According to figures from the Vietnam Administration of AIDS Control (VAAC), more than 10,000 HIV-infected people diagnosed annually over recent years. Notably, HIV-infected people are mainly at working ages (85 percent of people infected with HIV at 22-49). The provinces and cities with over 1,000 HIV carriers are increasing across the country.

In almost provinces and cities, the rate of drug users infected with HIV is increasing measurably. The number of drug users share syringes and needles remain high. More worriedly, prostitutes are drug users; they transmit HIV to other through unsafe sex and intravenous drug use.

To prevent prevalence of HIV/AIDS through intravenous drug use, strict measures need to be applied:

- Renew, diversify and strengthen communication o­n mass media to educate people, especially people with high-risk behaviors such as intravenous drug users, prostitutes and homosexuals to help them change their behaviors to stop transmission of the epidemic.

- Improve capacity for anti-HIV/AIDS personnel at provincial, district and commune levels. Renovating management mechanism and implementation method of projects and programs o­n communication and harmful effect reduction of HIV for the community and fighting discrimination against people living with the disease. Border provinces must increase international cooperation with neighbor countries to prevent drugs and HIV/AIDS from breaking into our country.

- Supporting and caring for people living with HIV/AIDS and help drug users give up drugs with expenses from the State budget because difficult-hit families can afford to detoxify their children. It hopes to eliminate drugs unless synchronic measures are applied.