Trends and Predictors of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in Light of the Opioid Crisis Along the Urban-Rural Continuum

Research center:
Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2019
Anticipated completion date:
August 2020

Previous research has noted that the U.S. is facing dual public health crises associated with opioid use disorder (OUD) and HIV. Fatalities associated with OUD have been reported with increasing frequency and researchers have posited that simultaneous increases in HIV infection are a result of injection drug use. Once OUD has progressed, injection becomes the preferred route of administration, and opportunities for HIV infection are heightened.

The current body of literature outlining connections between HIV and OUD is not national in scope. Through analysis of national data as compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, we will characterize, simultaneous trends in OUD and HIV mortality separately (using the CDC WONDER data), as well as trends in mortality and comorbidity. This work will explore whether rural populations in the U.S. have been disproportionately affected by the syndemic of OUD and increases in HIV transmission and whether regional variations in the burden of these diseases exist. The goals of this project are to examine mortality and morbidity associated with OUD and HIV infections and to examine trends in and predictors of hospitalizations associated with OUD and HIV infection.