Xylazine and HIV in the Era of Synthetic Street Drugs

Sponsor: National Alliance for HIV Education and Workforce Development

This session is part of NAHEWD’s national webinar series Bridging HIV and SUD: Innovations in the Field. The series will highlight various innovative models and approaches to treating substance use disorder (SUD) in people at risk for and living with HIV. This presentation will review the history of US street drug markets since the early 1990s to explain the emergence of xylazine, fentanyl, and crystal methamphetamine in regional markets formerly dominated by heroin and cocaine. It will examine the relationship between each of these newly prevalent synthetic substances and describe what we know so far about their impact on HIV and related comorbidities. Finally, it will assess how the public health impact of recent transformations to the US narcotics supply relates to the experience of drug consumption and the actual way that people use drugs in their everyday lives.

1. Understand how the sudden expansion of xylazine, fentanyl, and crystal methamphetamine use is related to the history of US drug markets since 1990.

2. Understand how each of these substances relate to one another in the experience of consumption and in their public health impact, including on HIV and drug overdose risk.

3. Examine avenues for novel public health interventions to minimize the risk of HIV, drug overdose, and related comorbities, as well as to regulate drug markets to make them less toxic and economically exploitative for both people who use drugs and people who sell them.

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Event Details

October 6, 2023
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
remote via Zoom