The next problem: Maintenance of AIDS risk reduction among intravenous drug users

Don C. Des Jarlais, Abu Abdul-Quader, Susan Tross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intravenous drag users have surprised many policymakers and researchers by exhibiting large-scale AIDS risk reduction. Relapse from desired behavior change has been a traditional problem in treatment for drug misuse/dependence. Failure to maintain AIDS risk reduction was examined in a study of 399 intravenous drug users from New York City. Over 80% of the subjects reported initiating risk reduction, but 36% of those also reported that they did not fully maintain the risk reduction. Factors associated with initiating risk reduction were not necessarily associated with maintenance, indicating that different types of change processes may be occurring. At the policy level, one needs to think of long-term efforts to reduce the spread of HIV among drag users; "quick fix" programs are not likely to be effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1279-1292
Number of pages14
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1991


  • AIDS
  • Behavior change
  • IV drug users
  • Maintenance
  • Relapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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