High levels of HIV risk behaviors and prevalence have been reported among Puerto Rican people who inject drugs (PRPWID) since early in the HIV epidemic. Advances in HIV prevention and treatment have reduced HIV among people who inject drugs (PWID) in the United States. We examined HIV-related data for PRPWID in Puerto Rico and the US Northeast to assess whether disparities continue.
Injection drug use as a risk for HIV is still overrepresented among Puerto Ricans. Lower availability of syringe exchanges, drug abuse treatment, and antiretroviral treatment for PWID in Puerto Rico contribute to higher HIV risk and incidence.
These disparities should be addressed by the development of a federally supported Northeast–Puerto Rico collaboration to facilitate and coordinate efforts throughout both regions.