IV Drug Use and Risky Sex Are Down

By Luke Walker 01/19/12

A four-year national study finds Americans are reducing their HIV risks.

Americans are taking fewer risks.
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A government survey concludes HIV/AIDS infections as a result of risky sexual activity and drug use are slightly in decline. The nationwide study, conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics surveyed 23,000 individuals about intravenous drug use and "high-risk sexual" activity. It found that 10% of men and 8% of women—representing a population of 11.4 million—engaged in at least one infection risk act between 2006 and 2010. That's down from 13% and 11% respectively in a 2002 study. The most significant finding was the decline in IV drug use: less than 1% of those surveyed reported injecting illicit drugs. Prostitution also seems to have declined: only 1.3% of men and 0.7% of women reported having sex for money. Gay sex—included in the "risky" category by the study—remained steady at a reported 2.1%. In general, safer sexual practice, such as condom use, is on the increase.

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