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Black tar heroin use explains lower HIV levels among injection drug users in the Western US

ies. Consider that if powder heroin were to become more widely available on the West Coast, public health agencies would need to prepare for the possibility that currently successful interventions to prevent HIV transmission among IDUs may lose much of their effectiveness," said Ciccarone.

"Likewise, while black tar heroin use becoming predominate on the East Coast may positively affect HIV transmission rates among IDUs, public health officials will need to be aware in order to prepare for the different risks associated with its use. The increased intramuscular injecting associated with black tar heroin use leads to higher rates of abscesses, wound botulism, tetanus, gas gangrene, and necrotizing fasciitis. In fact, soft tissue infections are the number one medical/surgical admission at San Francisco General Hospital," said Ciccarone.


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Contact: Jeff Sheehy
jsheehy@psg.ucsf.edu
415-597-8165
University of California - San Francisco
26-Jan-2004


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