The infectious complications of anabolic-androgenic steroid injection

Josiah D. Rich, B. P. Dickinson, A. Feller, D. Pugatch, E. Mylonakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


One million individuals in the United States alone are estimated to be current or past users of anabolic-androgenic steroids. In the United States fifty-percent of anabolic-androgenic steroid users administer their compounds intramuscularly, and twenty-five percent of adolescent anabolic-androgenic steroid users share needles, placing these young adults at risk for infections related to injection. To examine the medical literature for reports of infections attributable to anabolic-androgenic steroids, we conducted a MEDLINE (1966-1998) and AIDSLINE (1980-1998) world literature review to examine all references that attributed infections to anabolic-androgenic steroid injection. Infections associated with anabolic-androgenic steroid injection include three cases of HIV, one case of hepatitis B, one case of hepatitis C, eight abscesses, and a case of fungal endophthalmitis. No cross-sectional or prospective studies exist that document the risk of infections related to anabolic-androgenic steroid injection. These serious infectious complications of anabolic-androgenic steroid injection may be avoided with education and prevention techniques. Infections occurring in anabolic-androgenic steroid users are not as common as in intravenous drug users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)563-566
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1999


  • AIDS
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV
  • Injection(s)
  • Needle sharing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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