Friday, April 6, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio
Opioid use in the U.S. has been rising steadily since 2007. In 2016, the opioid epidemic claimed more lives than any prior year. As opioid abuse rises, so have the accompanying risky behaviors, i.e., sharing needles and engaging in unprotected sexual activity that increases the risk of contracting and spreading chronic infectious diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. The inextricable linkage of opioids, HIV and Hepatitis presents a public health challenge that requires systematic, integrated and collaborative action. The panel discussed challenges, opportunities and promising strategies to address these co-occurring epidemics at the local, state and national levels.