Tuesday, August 5, 2008

HIV and Crack Use

I found myself nodding in agreement with this study this morning. It talks about the fact that people, especially women who are HIV+ and use crack don't get nearly as much treatment as those HIV+ who are not using crack. In my experience I've found this to be very true.

People come into IPDA all the time who are HIV+. It doesn't phase me. What surprises me, is how few of them are taking any medication. There are life saving medications out there which can extend life for an indefinite period of time, and these people aren't taking them. There are of course many reasons for this, and I don't begin to blame the health care profession. It is however something to be aware of.

The article states, and again, in my experience I've found this to be true, that this population also tends to have a lot of unprotected sex, especially the women. I find it hard knowing women who are HIV+ and are working the streets. Or men, having encounters with those women.

Actually to be honest, I haven't met a single HIV+ person among the homeless population who is taking antiretrovirals. That doesn't mean there aren't, because I'm sure there are, I just haven't come across them in detox or IPDA.

The article suggests better services for this population. I wonder what that would look like...

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