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  • Injection of new psychoactive substance snow blow associated with recently acquired HIV infections among homeless people who inject drugs in Dublin, Ireland, 2015

    Posted on October 9th, 2015 TimB No comments

    In February 2015, the Department of Public Health (DPH), Health Service Executive (HSE) in Dublin, Ireland, identified an unexpected increase in cases of acute HIV infection among people who inject drugs (PWID); three cases were diagnosed p24 antigen-positive in January and February 2015, compared with two cases diagnosed during the whole year in 2014 [1]. Drug treatment clinicians had also identified increased use of a new psychoactive substance (NPS) alpha-pyrrolidinovalerophenone (?-PVP), known as snow blow, which was being used by ‘chaotic’ PWID, and which they suspected might be linked to the increase [2]. Clinicians defined the chaotic group as homeless PWID who, if on opioid substitution treatment (OST), required daily attendance at their treatment programme, due to continued use of a variety of other illicit substances in an intensive or chaotic way. We undertook an epidemiological investigation to identify the likely source of this increase.

     

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