You are visiting us from Virginia. You are located in HHS Region 3. Your Center is Central East ATTC.

HIV, Hepatitis, and the Fourth Wave of the Opioid Epidemic: Syndemics in a Post-Pandemic World




In this webinar, Dr. Ryan Westergaard will review the epidemiology of HIV and Hepatitis C infection among people who use drugs. He will discuss current and future approaches for addressing infectious disease risks as the epidemics of opioid and stimulant use continue to evolve, sharing research findings from the National Institutes of Health Rural Opioid Initiative.  With examples from community-based research conducted in Wisconsin and elsewhere in the Midwest, Dr. Westergaard will illustrate how changes in injection drug use, policies around harm reduction services, and the COVID-19 pandemic influence communities’ vulnerability to HIV outbreaks and pose challenges to the national goal of viral hepatitis elimination.




  • Understand how changes in the epidemiology of opioid and methamphetamine use disorder have posed obstacles to the goals of ending the HIV epidemic.
  • Recognize the potential impact of incorporating screening, linkage to care, and low-threshold treatment for hepatitis C infection in addiction treatment settings.
  • Discuss a research agenda for a comprehensive, patient-centered approach to health and safety of people who inject drugs.





Trainer, Ryan Westergaard, MD, PhD, MPHDr. Ryan Westergaard, MD, PhD, MPH, is a physician and epidemiologist, specializing in treatment and prevention for HIV and viral Hepatitis, with a special dedication to harm reduction among people who inject drugs. He is currently serving as Wisconsin’s Chief Medical Officer for the Bureau of Communicable Diseases (DPH, DHS). This is in addition to his research and physician-faculty position at the University of Wisconsin Madison School of Medicine and Public Health where he’s an Associate Professor of Medicine and an Infectious Disease Physician for UW Health. Holding these positions has paved the way for building bridges between the institutions and leverage the many resources of all to benefit the health and well-being of residents across Wisconsin.





The Great Lakes A/MH/PTTC is offering this training for individuals working in HHS Region 5: IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI. This training is being provided in response to a need identified by Region 5 stakeholders.