Statistical Investigation on the Relation of Intravenous Drug Addiction and HIV-Infection. A Survey of the Years 1985 to 1989 by the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Vienna
About ten years ago the first cases of AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) were reported to the Centers for Diseases Control (CDC), and about seven years ago the etiological agent, HIV-1 (human immunodeficiency virus type 1), was discovered (Anderson 1988). HIV infection is spread by sexual contact, by infected blood or blood products, and perinatally by mother to infant. Regardless of the portal entry of the virus, the common denominator of HIV infection is a selective tropism of the virus for certain cells of the immune system and the central nervous system. It results in immunosuppression and neuropsychiatrie abnormalities (Fauci 1988). Transmission of AIDS by intravenous drug users (IVDUs) became apparent early in the AIDS epidemic when increasing numbers of heterosexual drug addicts in New York and New Jersey were diagnosed with opportunistic infections. As the AIDS epidemic has progressed, IVDUs have consistently comprised the second largest risk group among AIDS patients reported to the Centers for Diseases Control (Chaisson 1987). Forensic implications due to this risk group are increasing, and therefore postmortem HIV-antibody testing is performed when dead IVDUs have to be examined at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Vienna.
KeywordsHuman Immunodeficiency Virus Type Forensic Medicine Drug Addict Intravenous Drug User Forensic Implication
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