Last month, Dr. Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary for Health, spoke with R. Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), about drug prevention during the observance of Prevention Month. You can watch their discussion at the ONDCP Web site.
I want to highlight that to help reduce the number of new HIV infections, the National HIV/AIDS Strategy calls for giving much more attention and resources to the populations at highest risk of HIV, including substance abusers. Among the many benefits of preventing drug use, before it starts or stepping in early before substance use becomes chronic, is reducing the individual’s risk of exposure to HIV and other dangerous infections like Hepatitis C. This highlights the complementary nature of both the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and the National Drug Control Strategy, and the government-wide efforts underway to implement both. Dr. Koh recently wrote an ONDCP guest blog post about this topic as well.