Objective. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) was formally identified among injecting drug users (IDUs) in 1981, and research on preventing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection among drug injectors began shortly thereafter. At the time this research was begun, there was a general assumption that drug users (who were called drug abusers at that time) were too self-destructive and their behavior too chaotic for them to change their behavior to avoid infection with HIV. This chapter reviews the history of research on implementation of programs for prevention of HIV infection among IDUs. Methods. Reviews of both research and program implementation research were conducted. Consultative discussions of issues and findings were conducted with researchers in the United States and other countries. Results. An extremely large amount of useful information has accumulated during the past 15 years. We now know that the great majority of IDUs will change their injecting behavior in response to the threat of AIDS and that these behavior changes are effective in reducing HIV transmission among drug injectors. Additional insight is needed regarding the apparent insufficiency of some prevention programs to control HIV, the transmission dynamics of rapid HIV spread, and the persistence of moderate to high incidence of HIV infection in high seroprevalence populations. Despite the current research knowledge base, implementation of effective prevention programs in many countries is nonexistent to incomplete. Conclusion. The most important barrier to reducing HIV transmission among drug injectors is not a lack of knowledge but the failure to implement effective prevention programs in many parts of the world.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Public Health Reports|
|Issue number||SUPPL. 1|
|State||Published - 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health