ATLANTA, March 1 (UPI) -- Despite a drop in U.S. HIV infections attributed to injecting drugs, 9 percent of U.S. HIV infections in 2009 occurred among such drug users, officials said.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Behavioral Surveillance System conducts interviews and HIV testing in selected metropolitan statistical areas. The report summarized data from 10,073 injecting drug users interviewed and tested in 20 metropolitan statistical areas in 2009.
Of injecting drug users tested, 9 percent had a positive HIV test result and 45 percent of those testing positive were unaware of their infection.
Among the 9,565 injecting drug users with HIV negative or unknown HIV status before the survey, 69 percent reported having unprotected vaginal sex, 34 percent reported sharing syringes and 23 percent reported having unprotected heterosexual anal sex during the 12 previous months, the report said.
Although these risk behavior prevalences appear to warrant increased access to HIV testing and prevention services, for the previous 12-month period, only 49 percent of the injecting drug users at risk for acquiring HIV infection reported having been tested for HIV, and 19 percent reported participating in a behavioral intervention, CDC officials said.
The report was reported in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.