Chapter Eight

Facing up to AIDS

Stewart Dickson and Jane Hollis

This chapter discusses the problem of Human Immunosuppressive Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) in relation to drug abusers and how the risks of infection in this group can be reduced. It deals with how to counsel people before and after an antibody test, and looks at the working environment and the future prospects for drug agencies.


Drug abusers have never bothered about hepatitis, overdoses, choking to death on their own vomit, thrombosis, gangrene or heroin cut with strychnine—so why should they worry about AIDS? The fact that more and more drug abusers are being identified as HIV-positive is unlikely to influence them.

AIDS is potentially the most serious sociomedical situation facing us at present. In the words of the World Health Organisation: ‘We are for the first time in history at the beginning of a plague’.

At the beginning of the AIDS scare, the main risk groups were identified as homosexual men, drug abusers, and recipients of infected blood. The homosexual community have responded to information campaigns quickly and responsibly. Research by doctors from the Middlesex University College Hospital points to a change to safer sexual practices which is already leading to a slowdown in the rise of HIV infection (Anon 1987a). A study of homosexual and bisexual men attending the Middlesex Hospital sexually transmitted diseases (STD) clinic found that between 1982 and 1984 the number who were seropositive rose by 7.4 per cent a year. But by December 1986 this increase had fallen to 1.8 per cent. The slower rise in antibody positive men coincided with a fall in the annual rate of gonorrhoea from 15.3 per cent in 1982 to only 5.1 per cent in the first half of 1986.

All donated blood in the western world is now tested and heat-


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Treating Drug Abusers


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 202

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?