BOSA'S-NETMonth of Youth Against AIDS

March is the ‘Month of Youth Against AIDS and throughout the month, BOSASNet will be exploring the links between substance abuse and the risk of contracting HIV and other infections.

What does substance abuse have to do with HIV and AIDS?

  • Drinking alcohol can lower inhibitions which can lead individuals to taking risks when it comes to sex and sexual activities.
  • Motor coordination is affected by many substances so people might think that they have used protection during sex but there is an increased risk that they have not used the contraceptive properly.
  • Some methods of using substances can put a person at risk of contracting HIV, for example, sharing crack pipes and needles can lead to infection.
  • Substance use and dependency can increase a person’s risk of engaging in transactional sex: sex for money or substances. This reduces the control they have over the sexual encounter and may lead to HIV infection.
  • Substance abuse can impair memory and impact on a person’s daily life, making it difficult to for them to adhere to any medical regime, including anti-retroviral treatments.

For more information, or to speak to a counsellor in confidence, call BOSASNet on 395 9119 or 72659891. You can also visit our website or find us on Facebook.

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