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AIDS Care. 2002 Feb;14(1):77-93.

Reduced injection risk and sexual risk behaviours after drug misuse treatment: results from the National Treatment Outcome Research Study.

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  • 1National Addiction Centre, The Maudsley, London, UK.

Abstract

This paper investigates injecting, shared use of needles/syringes and sexual risk behaviours at intake to treatment and at one-year follow-up among 753 drug users recruited to the National Treatment Outcome Research Study (NTORS). Injecting, sharing and having unprotected sex were substantially reduced among clients admitted to methadone programmes and among those admitted to residential treatments. The overall levels of risk fell after treatment, and the majority of those who were engaged in high risk behaviours at intake had stopped at follow-up. The results also show the variability of individual outcomes. A minority persisted with their risk behaviour, and others who were not at risk at intake who had started to engage in risky behaviours at follow-up. The behaviour of these clients creates a focal point for risk as well as being a threat to public health. Several social and psychological factors were predictive of health risk behaviours. These included frequency and duration of heroin use, polydrug use, alcohol use, gender, ethnicity, having a drug-using partner, anxiety and depression. The results indicate the important role that can be played by treatment services in helping to reduce the risk of blood-borne infections. We suggest that risk reduction interventions are an important and effective component of treatment programmes.

PMID:
11798407
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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