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publicado em 06/02/2013 às 14h06:00
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Treatment for heroin addicts reduces HIV cases in Spain

Agency notes that the Spanish experience is relevant for countries where injecting illicit drugs is a common problem

 
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Foto: Marcos Santos/USP Imagens
With Spanish treatment, patients receive daily dose of medication, usually methadone combined with anti-retroviral
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With Spanish treatment, patients receive daily dose of medication, usually methadone combined with anti-retroviral

A treatment based on methadone for heroin addicts, combined with the distribution of disposable syringes and access to treatment for AIDS, reduced the HIV epidemic in Spain.

The result of the study was published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization (WHO). The agency notes that the Spanish experience is relevant to other countries where injecting illicit drugs is a common problem, as in Eastern Europe and Asia.

According to WHO, during the 1980s, Spain had one of the strictest laws on the treatment of heroin addicts. At the same time, the country had the highest level of new HIV infections among injecting drug users. In the 1990s, the prevalence of HIV in this group reached 60%.

The study points out that at the time, the only treatment available for heroin users in Spain was based on abstinence. But two laws were passed in 1990 and 1996, allowing the prescription of methadone for narcotic addicts. In health centers across the country, methadone began to be provided for free for these patients.

Reduction cases <b> </ b>

The survey found that in 2010 60% of injecting drug users in Spain were being treated with methadone, allowed a breakthrough with the new laws. With other HIV prevention initiatives, the number of new infections among drug addicts has dropped dramatically.

In 1990, the average per year was 6.2 thousand new AIDS cases. In 2010, there were 690 new infections.

Spanish method, patients receive a dose of medication, usually methadone combined with antiretroviral drugs.

According to WHO, over time, methadone blocks the effects of heroin and eventually leave the patients using the drug. The study also highlights that the Spanish general public was in favor of this treatment.

With UN <i> information </ i>

Source: Isaude.net
   Palavras-chave:   AIDS    HIV    Methadone    Heroin    Spain    World Health Organization    WHO Bulletin   
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