Drug abuse treatment slashes HIV-related sex behaviors in urban meth addicts

CONTEXT: Methamphetamine-dependent gay and bisexual men are at high risk for HIV transmission, largely due to drug-associated sexual risk behaviors.

FINDINGS: A randomized, controlled study evaluated the effectiveness of four behavioral drug abuse treatments in reducing methamphetamine use and HIV-related sexual risk behaviors among 162 gay and bisexual methamphetamine addicts in Los Angeles County. Treatment produced immediate, three-fold reductions in methamphetamine use and in risky sexual behavior. Gains from treatment were generally maintained over a yearlong observation period.

IMPACT: Drug abuse treatment merits consideration as a primary HIV prevention strategy for urban gay and bisexual methamphetamine abusers.

AUTHOR: The lead investigator is Steven Shoptaw, a research and clinical psychologist with the Integrated Substance Abuse Programs at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute.

QUOTE: "The AIDS epidemic in the United States is integrally linked to drug use. Effective drug abuse treatments that produce lasting behavioral changes among addicts at risk of HIV are vital to prevention efforts."

FUNDER: National Institute on Drug Abuse.

JOURNAL: Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Article has been accepted for future publication and is available online at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_aset=V-WA-A-W-V-MsSAYWW-UUW-U-AAAAEVEAUB-AAUECWEEUB-EVZUVVWDD-V-U&_rdoc=2&_fmt=summary&_udi=B6T63-4DX27F5-1&_coverDate=12%2F29%2F2004&_cdi=5019&_orig=search&_st=13&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000059605&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=4423&md5=3b8ad

Contact: Dan Page
University of California - Los Angeles

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