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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2008 Oct;35(3):294-303. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2007.11.005. Epub 2008 Mar 7.

Substance abuse treatment in human immunodeficiency virus: the role of patient-provider discussions.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA.


Substance abuse treatment is associated with decreases in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) risk behavior and can improve HIV outcomes. The purpose of this study was to examine factors associated with substance abuse treatment utilization, including patient-provider discussions of substance use issues. We surveyed 951 HIV-infected adults receiving care at 14 HIV Research Network primary care sites regarding drug and alcohol use, substance abuse treatment, and provider discussions of substance use issues. Although 71% reported substance use, only 24% reported receiving substance abuse treatment and less than half reported discussing substance use issues with their HIV providers. In adjusted logistic regression models, receipt of substance abuse treatment was associated with patient-provider discussions. Patient-provider discussions of substance use issues were associated with current drug use, hazardous or binge drinking, and Black race or ethnicity, though substance use was comparable between Blacks and Whites. These data suggest potential opportunities for improving engagement in substance abuse treatment services.

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