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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2005 Jan;28(1):3-9.

Substance abuse treatment and risk behaviors among HIV-infected persons with alcohol problems.

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Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences, St. Paul's Hospital, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


We examined the association of substance abuse treatment with sexual and drug use risk behaviors among 349 HIV-infected persons with a history of alcohol problems using a standardized questionnaire regarding sexual and drug use risk behaviors, demographics, substance use, and use of substance abuse treatment. We defined substance abuse treatment services as any of the following in the past 6 months: 12 weeks in a half-way house or residential facility; 12 visits to a substance abuse counselor or mental health professional; day treatment for at least 30 days; or participation in any methadone maintenance program. Our three outcome variables of high-risk behavior were the Risk Assessment Battery sex-risk and drug-risk scores and high-risk sex behavior which included any of the following: inconsistent condom use; having more than one sexual partner; and exchanging sex for money or drugs. Although sexual risk was high (51%) in our HIV-infected cohort, engagement in substance abuse treatment was not independently associated with lower frequency of any of our measures of high- risk behaviors. Although the opportunity exists to address HIV risk behaviors in the setting of substance abuse treatment, effective institutionalization of this challenging behavior change effort has not yet been realized.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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