“When I do not have anything and my friend has a hit he injects himself and then I draw his blood and inject it in myself to get my high,” said Lucas, of Soshanguve Block X, north of Pretoria.
“The cravings are so unbearable that you do not care about the risks any more.”
A tiny bag of nyaope – which is also known as whoonga and whose ingredients are said to include heroin and antiretrovirals – costs R30.
This latest vampire-like horror from South Africa’s drug world is called “bluetooth”, after the technology that connects different digital devices.
But for the addicts practising it, say experts, bluetooth almost certainly means infection with potentially deadly diseases.
“We have to do it, otherwise you will not survive the cravings,” Matejoana said.
The medical fraternity is shocked by the addicts exchanging blood.
Department of Health spokes-man Joe Maila said experts feared that the HIV transmission rate would skyrocket.
The SA Medical Association said the sharing of blood with unsterilised needles was a guarantee of infection.