Interpersonal Violence Syndemics and Co-Occurring Epidemics: Preventing Violence in the Context of Opioid Misuse, Suicide, Social Disparities, and HIV: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief


Note: Proceedings contain the opinion of the presenters, but do NOT reflect the conclusions of the Health and Medicine Division or the National Academies. Learn more about the differences between Reports and Proceedings.

At a 2-day public workshop on May 16–17, 2019, convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Forum on Global Violence Prevention, participants explored the following three syndemics/co-occurring epidemics:

1. Opioid use disorder (OUD), violence, suicide, and mental health in the United States

2. Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and childhood trauma; adult violence and victimization; and health outcomes from a global perspective

3. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and violence

The workshop explored opioid-, ACEs-, and HIV-related violence syndemics from the perspectives of (a) survivors, (b) researchers studying these interactions, (c) public health professionals engaged with affected communities and in the creation and implementation of prevention and intervention measures, and (d) policy makers who are seeking multilevel interventions to address the complexities of comorbidities that reinforce and exacerbate each other. Through keynote and panel presentations followed by facilitated discussions, participants examined the evidence base surrounding these syndemics and described areas for future research. They also reviewed existing and potential strategies aimed at addressing these interrelated epidemics as multidimensional disorders with overlapping etiologies located within specific social, temporal, and geographical contexts.