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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2008 Jul;35(1):87-92. Epub 2007 Oct 15.

Buprenorphine/naloxone treatment in primary care is associated with decreased human immunodeficiency virus risk behaviors.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.


Methadone treatment reduces human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) risk, but the effects of primary-care-based buprenorphine/naloxone on HIV risk are unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine whether primary-care-based buprenorphine/naloxone was associated with decreased HIV risk behavior. We conducted a longitudinal analysis of 166 opioid-dependent persons (129 men and 37 women) receiving buprenorphine/naloxone treatment in a primary care clinic. We compared baseline and 12- and 24-week overall, drug-related, and sex-related HIV risk behaviors using the AIDS/HIV Risk Inventory (ARI). Buprenorphine/naloxone treatment was associated with significant reductions in overall and drug-related ARI scores from baseline to 12 and 24 weeks. Intravenous drug use in the past 3 months was endorsed by 37%, 12%, and 7% of patients at baseline and at 12 and 24 weeks, respectively (p< .001). Sex while you or your partner were "high" was endorsed by 64%, 13%, and 15% of patients at baseline and at 12 and 24 weeks, respectively (p< .001). Inconsistent condom use during sex with a steady partner was high at baseline and did not change over time. We conclude that primary-care-based buprenorphine/naloxone treatment is associated with decreased drug-related HIV risk, but additional efforts may be needed to address sex-related HIV risk when present.


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