Dombrowski, Khan, & Reyes’ new NIH/NIDA funded grant, Injection Risk Networks in Rural Puerto Rico, was featured on UNL Today last week. This project will study HIV risk among injection drug users in central rural Puerto Rico (including the areas of Cayey, Cidra, Aguas Buenas, and Comerío) and ultimately, aims to use this research to reduce the spread of HIV and HCV in Puerto Rico by identifying effective prevention strategies. The U.S. territory of Puerto Rico has one of the highest HIV incidence rates in the country and more than 50% of new HIV diagnoses are caused by injection drug use. We have proudly partnered with El Punto en la Montaña, which is the only syringe exchange program in central Puerto Rico, to help us execute this project. The Guardian produced a news report last summer about the public health crisis stemming from injection drug use in this area and it is a great source of information for anyone interested in learning more about the injection drug use/HIV/HCV situation in central Puerto Rico. You can read the full report and watch the video here. (Warning: the video does contain graphic images).

If you’d like more information about the project or have any questions, please contact me at mwelch2@unl.edu

–Melissa

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