Research Alert: June 29, 2021

The Co-occurrence of HIV and Opioid Mortality in Rural and Urban America from 1999-2018

Previous research has noted that the U.S. is facing dual public health crises associated with opioid use disorder (OUD) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Fatalities associated with OUD have been reported with increasing frequency, and researchers have posited that the injection of opioids could have implications for HIV rates and mortality.

The current body of literature outlining connections between HIV and OUD does not account for differences in rural and urban areas. Using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wide-ranging Online Date for Epidemiology Research mortality database, this brief finds no positive relationship between opioid mortality and HIV mortality over time. Instead, the results show a consistent decline in HIV mortality rates and a troubling rise in deaths from opioids across the time period analyzed.

Contact Information:

Timothy Callaghan, PhD
Southwest Rural Health Research Center
Phone: 979.436.0960

Additional Resources of Interest: