A new study from the BC Centre of Excellence in HIV/AIDS Centre has shown a new link between HIV infection and the use of tranquilizers.
The 17-year study involving over 1600 drug users in Vancouver found those who used benzodiazepine were more likely to become infected with HIV.
Researchers determined the tranquilizer impaired judgement, thereby increasing HIV/AIDS risky behaviours like engaging in sex work, having unprotected sex, and drug injecting practices.
Young people at risk?
Of the study group, 501 reported using benzodiazepine at the outset and of those, 176 were infected with HIV over the course of the study.
Even more worrying was the fact the study determined benzodiazepine users were generally younger people who reported it was incredibly easy to get their hands on the drug.
The Centre says people in Canada who inject drugs account for 14% of all HIV cases in the country.