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Injection
Drugs

Stopping injection and other drug use can lower your chances of getting or transmitting HIV a lot. If you keep injecting drugs, use only sterile needles and works. Never share needles or works.

 

You are at very high risk for getting HIV if you use a needle or works after someone with HIV has used them. Also, when people are high, they’re more likely to have risky sex, which increases the chance of getting or transmitting HIV.

 

The best way to reduce your risk of HIV is to stop using drugs. You may need help to stop or cut down using drugs, but many resources are available. Talk with a counselor, doctor, or other health care provider about substance abuse treatment. To find a treatment center near you, check out the locator tools on SAMHSA.gov or AIDS.gov, or call 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

 

If you keep injecting drugs, here are some things you can do to lower your risk for getting HIV and other infections:

  • Use only new, sterile needles and works each time you inject. Many communities have needle exchange programs where you can get new needles and works, and some pharmacies may sell needles without a prescription.

  • Never share needles or works.

  • Clean used needles with bleach only when you can’t get new ones. Bleaching a needle may reduce the risk of HIV but doesn’t eliminate it.

  • Use sterile water to fix drugs.

  • Clean your skin with a new alcohol swab before you inject.

  • Be careful not to get someone else’s blood on your hands or your needle or works.

  • Dispose of needles safely after one use. Use a sharps container, or keep used needles away from other people.

  • Get tested for HIV at least once a year.

  • Ask your doctor about taking daily medicine to prevent HIV (called pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP).

  • Don’t have sex if you’re high. If you do have sex, use a condom the right way every time. Learn the right way to use a male condom.