The role of substance abuse treatment in preventing human immunodeficiency virus transmission among injecting drug users
This exploratory study assesses the utility of substance abuse treatment as a strategy for preventing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission among injecting drug users (IDUs). Data analyzed in this study were collected in San Antonio, TX, 1989 through 1995 using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Qualitative data included ethnographic interviews with 234 active IDUs; quantitative data included baseline risk assessments and HIV screening plus interviews follow-up interviews administered approximately six months later to 823 IDUs participating in a Federally-funded AIDS community outreach demonstration project. Findings that have particularly important implications for substance abuse treatment as an HIV prevention strategy for IDUs are listed below. (1) IDUs who wanted treatment were significantly more likely to be daily heroin users. (2) IDUs who want treatment were significantly more likely to have been to treatment previously. (3) IDUs who wanted treatment at baseline reported significantly higher levels of HIV risk than IDUs who did not want treatment. (4) IDUs who went to treatment between their baseline and follow-up interviews reported significantly higher levels of HIV risk at baseline than IDUs who did not go to treatment. (5) IDUs who went to treatment between their baseline and follow-up interviews reported significantly greater decreases in injection-related HIV risk behaviors. (6) IDUs who went to treatment reported significantly greater decreases in sexual HIV risk behaviors than IDUs who did not go to treatment. This study also noted a number of factors that may limit the effectiveness of substance abuse treatment in reducing HIV risk among IDUs. Findings suggest that the impact of methadone maintenance on HIV risk behaviors among opioid dependent IDUs may be limited by the negative manner in which it is perceived by IDUs as well as other elements of society. One consequence of the negative perception of methadone maintenance held by many elements of society may be an unwillingness to provide public funding for an adequate number of methadone maintenance slots. Thus many IDUs who would be willing to enter methadone maintenance are unable to enter it and many IDUs who do enter it are forced to drop out prematurely.
Public health|Psychotherapy|Social work|Behaviorial sciences
Zule, William Arthur, "The role of substance abuse treatment in preventing human immunodeficiency virus transmission among injecting drug users" (1996). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9715367.