This new drug-sharing trend involves drug users injecting themselves with blood drawn from another user who has recently taken the drug 'nyaope'.
Dr Jackie Thomson, Medical Director of SANBS, says the practice as two serious dangers:
- The risk of transmitting a blood-borne virus or pathogen is greatly increased when passing infected blood from one directly into the vein of another person. This is particularly a risk in South Africa which has one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world.
- Mixing incompatible blood types can be fatal.
“Transfusing blood from one person to another in clinical settings is a very precise process and healthcare professionals ensure that the patient receives the right type of blood.
“Checks and tests needed to establish blood types are obviously not available to members of the public – including injecting drug users – and there is a real threat that the wrong and incompatible blood type is infused to the other person.