This latest vampire-like method, dubbed Bluetooth, is understood to have nyaope addicts in Soshanguve, Pretoria, exchanging blood through a syringe to share their high to cut costs.
Literally, a sober friend reportedly draws blood from the veins of his high friend after he has injected himself with nyaope, and the moment he staggers he then quickly draws blood and injects himself in a desperate attempt to stay high too.
It’s not yet clear how much substance there is to stories about this new trend, but it has got Mzansi talking.
With their veins basically in tatters, these addicts say smoking the drug no longer gives them the high it used to‚ so they have turned to injecting the powder drug loosened with water directly into their blood vessels.
This is a huge concern as HIV is transmitted through blood and other body fluids. The South African National Aids Council (SANAC) confirmed they are aware of the issue and are looking into it and will be able to give a statement on the Bluetooth trend after thorough investigations on it.
According to TimesLive, national department of health spokesperson Joe Maila said they were extremely worried, as they feared the rates of HIV transmission would skyrocket.
“This creates a huge problem because there are different blood groupings as well, which might create other health complications. We need to educate people about the dangers of sharing blood as a society. We need to talk about this everywhere society gathers. We as a department are very worried about this trend‚” he said.
In addition, female addicts‚ apparently dying for a fix‚ sell sex openly in the thin bushes around the Mabopane railway line, which also leads them to a higher risk of being infected with HIV.
The prevalence of Hepatitis B and C as well as HIV is incredibly high among addicts who use needles‚ says South African Medical Association vice-chairperson Mark Sonderup, who added they were currently involved in a massive screening across the country to get an idea of the scale of the problem.
Nyaope or whoonga is a fine powder that is usually combined with dagga, including antiretrovirals‚ although this is disputed, and it is then snorted or injected. The drug made a name for itself between 2000 and 2006 in the Tshwane townships of Soshanguve, Attridgeville and Mamelodi, and it costs R30, enough for one person.
– Caxton News Service