How does opioid use disorder increase the risk of contracting Hepatitis C and HIV?

Opioid use disorder is associated with a number of co-occurring medical conditions, most notably Hepatitis C and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). More than 3 million people in the U.S. are estimated to have long-term Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Most people do not know they are infected. Injection-drug users are at high risk for Hepatitis C Virus. In fact, injection drug use is the most common way to catch HCV in the United States. One of the most dangerous “side effects” of injecting heroin is the increased risk of being exposed to HIV. Sharing needles, syringes, or other injection equipment may expose drug users to the blood or body fluids of other users who may have HIV. Drug use can also lead to unprotected sexual contact, which can also transmit HIV infection. Using non-injection drugs often does not eliminate the risk of being infected with HIV/AIDS, because people under the influence of drugs still often engage in risky sexual and other behaviors that can lead to exposure to these diseases.

Access “Opioid Addiction with Medical Co-Morbidities” at:

  • Was this Helpful ?
  • YesNo

Join our #MissionForBetter now

Sign up for our newsletter. We’ll let you know about new resources, education, and more.