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August 1991

Drug Abuse Treatment as a Strategy to Prevent Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Among Intravenous Drug Users: How Can We Maximize Prevention of Infection?

Author Affiliations

Veterans Affairs Medical Center (4-1C) Sepulveda, CA 91343

Arch Intern Med. 1991;151(8):1493-1496. doi:10.1001/archinte.1991.00400080009001

Increased awareness of the potential for drug abuse treatment to assist prevention of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection may lead to an expansion of drug abuse treatment services for intravenous (IV) drug users in many parts of the world. Thus, it becomes increasingly important to identify components of drug abuse treatment that maximize HIV prevention among IV drug users. Rationale for two recommended program components are presented.

One recommendation is that well-funded, aggressive HIV counseling and testing programs be part of all drug abuse treatment programs for IV drug users. A second recommendation is that special attention be given to high (HIV)-risk behaviors among patients in drug abuse treatment and the effects of these behaviors on the safety of the treatment environment. Expansion of drug abuse treatment may not be fully effective in reducing spread of HIV among IV drug users unless HIV prevention activities are expanded and better integrated

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