The effect of entering drug treatment on involvement in HIV-related risk behaviors

J A Hoffman, H Klein, D C Clark, F T Boyd
American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse 1998, 24 (2): 259-84
The research described here is based on a sample of 8,241 out-of-drug-treatment users of injected drugs and/or crack, aged 18 or older, recruited from 22 sites across the United States and Puerto Rico. The study divided respondents into three groups-(a) cocaine or crack users who did not also use heroin or speedball (cocaine-only users), (b) heroin injectors who did not also use cocaine or crack or speedball (heroin injectors), and (c) users of cocaine or crack and injected heroin or speedball (dual users)--and compared the efficacy of entering drug treatment for these groups' involvement in HIV-related risk behaviors. The study found that entry into treatment corresponded to greater reductions in substance abusers' frequency of drug use and involvement in risky injection practices compared to those observed in people who did not enter treatment between their baseline and 6-month follow-up interviews. Entry into drug treatment was also associated with reductions in the practice of risky sexual behaviors, but these reductions were less substantial and less consistent than those noted for drug use and injection risk behaviors.

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