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Why Is the Opioid Overdose Death Rate Higher in People With HIV?

Karin Bosh, PhD, explains why the opioid overdose death rate was higher in 2015 than in 2011 among people with HIV.

Segment Description: Karin Bosh, PhD, a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention epidemiologist in the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, explains why the opioid overdose death rate was higher in 2015 than in 2011 among people with HIV.

Interview transcript (modified slightly for readability):

Contagion®: Why might people diagnosed with HIV be more likely to die of an opioid overdose?

Dr. Bosh: "Previous research has found that persons with HIV are more likely to have chronic pain and they're also more likely to receive opioid analgesic treatments and receive higher doses of opioids. And in addition to that, persons with HIV are more likely to have substance abuse disorder and mental illness than the general population and all of these factors might contribute to why we see these higher rates."

The study, “Opioid Overdose Deaths Among Persons With HIV Infection, United States, 2011-2015,” was presented on Thursday, March 7, 2019, at CROI 2019 in Seattle, Washington.