Drug use is more common among men, with women accounting for just one in three people who use drugs and one in five people who inject drugs. However, women who use drugs face special health risks.
Although few countries report sex-disaggregated data to UNAIDS on people who inject drugs, the majority of publicly available data suggest that women who inject drugs have a greater vulnerability than men to HIV, hepatitis C and other blood-borne infections. In 16 of the 21 countries that reported such data since 2013, women who inject drugs were more likely to be living with HIV than their male peers. In Germany, Uganda and Uzbekistan, HIV prevalence among women who inject drugs was almost twice as high as among their male peers.