Flashblood: when junkies/sex workers share blood to ease withdrawal

using African ports as authorities can easily be bribed. Health officials are worried that the growth of heroin use and all that comes with it—sharing needles, prostitution, and now flashblood—will fuel the next spike in HIV infections.

The HIV rates of African heroin users are among the highest in the world. In Tanzania, about 42 percent of addicts have the disease, with 64 percent of female addicts infected.

Women are the most likely to practice flashblood. They see it as a way to help ease the pain of a suffering addict who can't make enough money to get high due to sickness or age.

It's unclear how prevalent the practice is in other areas and if flashblood actually works. Users reportedly pass out as if high, but this could be a placebo effect. Or, this high could result from residual traces of the drug left in the syringe.

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As if Africa didn’t already have a big enough problem with AIDS, according to the New York Times some heroin addicts have started shooting up other users’ blood to share the high and ease the pain of withdrawal. To say these junkies are desperate is an understatement.

The practice of flashblood or flushblood has started to occur in several African countries. To make matters worse, many of these addicts support their habits through sex work.

Heroin use wasn't a common practice in Africa due to the high cost. However, now smugglers from Asia and Afghanistan have started

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