Observations on the Stabilization of HIV Seroprevalence Among Injecting Drug Users

  • D. C. Des Jarlais


HIV seroprevalence among injecting drug users (IDUs) has stabilized in a large number of cities, including New York,1 Stockholm,2 Vienna,3 Amsterdam,4 San Francisco,5 and Innsbruck.6 This stabilization has occurred at very different levels of HIV seroprevalence, from the 50% in New York to the 12% in San Francisco. The precise reasons why the stabilization has occurred at such differing levels have yet to be determined, but probably include: the extent to which HIV had already spread among the local group of IDUs (prior to large-scale AIDS risk reduction); and the extent to which the local legal, geographic, and social organization of the “community” of IDUs facilitates the multi-person use of injection equipment. Stabilization of HIV seroprevalence among IDUs in various cities has now occurred often enough that it can be considered a “normal” outcome of an HIV epidemic among IDUs.


Illicit Drug Drug Injector Inject Drug User Local Group Seroconversion Rate 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. C. Des Jarlais
    • 1
  1. 1.Beth Israel Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

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