Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Facing Opioids in the Shadow of the HIV Epidemic

January 3, 2019
N Engl J Med 2019; 380:1-3
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1813836

Facing Opioids in the Shadow of the HIV Epidemic
Caroline M. Parker, M.A., Jennifer S. Hirsch, Ph.D., Helena B. Hansen, M.D., Ph.D., Charles Branas, Ph.D., and Sylvia Martins, Ph.D.

The United States is in the midst of an opioid crisis. An estimated 2.1 million Americans had an opioid use disorder in 2016. The rate of opioid overdose deaths has increased by 500% since 1999, and each day an estimated 115 Americans die from opioid overdose.1 Despite the proven effectiveness of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorders, the opioid mortality rate has now surpassed that of the AIDS epidemic during its peak in the early 1990s — a time when there was no effective treatment for HIV/AIDS.2

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