Though HIV infections among intravenous drug users is down, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds HIV testing is down and needle-sharing remains high.
The study released Thursday is based on 2009 survey data of 10,000 IV drug users in 20 metropolitan areas. They found 9 percent of users were infected with HIV. This is down from 18 percent in 1990. About 45 percent of those who tested positive for HIV were unaware of their infection.
Among the drug users with an HIV negative status, 69 percent reported having unprotected vaginal sex; 34 percent reported sharing needles; and 23 percent reported having unprotected heterosexual anal sex during the 12 previous months.
Only 49 percent of IV drug users at risk for acquiring an HIV infection reported having been tested and 19 percent reported seeking behavioral intervention.
According to the CDC, 1.2 million Americans have HIV, and 1 in 5 U.S. adults with HIV do not know they are infected.