Monday, July 12, 2010

The Nightmare Called "Flashblood" Heroin Use

(Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania)

Apparently, in Tanzania there's a scary trend with heroin-addicted female sex workers, where the older poorer sex worker who gets less work, gets a younger more active user to give them about a teaspoon of their blood after they get high so that they can inject it and get their fix from their heroin-rich blood.

No need to remind you about the AIDS epidemic that's going on in Africa, so putting two and two together really becomes a nightmare...

Just thinking about those tourists who go there for their "African Safari" and hook up with those AIDS-infected sex workers, and then come back home afterward to unknowingly spread their new found "partner"... Wow.

Anyway, you should read some of the numbers from the study. Here's the story from the Toronto Sun:

African heroin addicts inject each other's blood: report
A new report chronicles a disturbing trend in African cities called 'flashbood' - addicts injecting another's blood into their own veins to feed off their heroin high.

Sheryl A. McCurdy, the University of Texas researchers who headed up the study, published in the journal Addiction, said there's no data showing how prevalent flashblood is, but said it's most common in East African countries, where it originated in 2005.

It's been reported in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on the island of Zanzibar and in Mombasa, Kenya, according to the New York Times.

In most East African countries, only 3% to 5% of adults are infected with the AIDS virus. That's small compared to South Africa, where between 15% and 25% have the disease.

But infection rates are highest among heroin users, the NYT reports. In Tanzania, about 42% are infected and 64% of female addicts have AIDS, likely due to the prevalence of needle-using female sex workers.

While mostly women practice flashbood in Tanzania, a 2006 report in the African Journal of Drug and Alcohol Studies shows that mostly men do it in Zanzibar, where 9% of all needle-drug users reported having used the technique at some point.

Heroin in Africa is particularly strong, as it comes from relatively pure shipments on their way to Europe from Afghanistan and Asia.

However, a teaspoon of blood is more than enough to pass along the AIDS virus.

What more is there to say?


PS: Why did I write this post? It was shocking to me, so I thought I would share that shock with you... I'm assuming you heroin users out there already knew about this...

(Image: by smagdali on flickr


KingBlogSpot said...

This is sickening; Any facts about flashblood in Toronto?

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