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The Unrealized Potential of Addiction Science in Curbing the HIV Epidemic

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The stubbornly high incidence of new HIV infections belies the overwhelming evidence showing that sustained highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has the power to dramatically reduce the spread of HIV infection and forever change the face of this devastating epidemic. One of the main contributors to this public health paradox is the ongoing HIV epidemic among substance users who contribute significantly to HIV infection rates through injection drug use and high-risk sexual behaviours. Current evidence clearly shows that, in order to fill this gap, we need to integrate substance abuse treatment with HIV treatment programmes and provide substance abusers with universal access to HIV treatment through a focussed effort to seek, test, treat, and retain hard-to-reach high risk individuals. These aims will require structural changes in the health care system to overcome many of the obstacles that have inhibited the merging of substance abuse treatment with HIV programmes for far too long.





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Keywords: Disease Control and Prevention; HAART; HIV prevention; highly active antiretroviral therapy; hypothesis; opiate replacement therapy; opioid addiction; substance use disorders; treatment

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • Current HIV Research aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments of HIV research. We invite comprehensive review articles and novel, pioneering work in the basic and clinical fields on all areas of HIV research, including virus replication and gene expression, HIV assembly, virus-cell interaction, viral pathogenesis, epidemiology and transmission, anti-retroviral therapy and adherence, drug discovery, the latest developments in HIV/AIDS vaccines and animal models, mechanisms and interactions with AIDS related diseases, social and public health issues related to HIV disease, and prevention of viral infection. Each issue of the journal contains a series of timely in-depth reviews and original research written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics on HIV research. Periodically, the journal will invite guest editors to devote an issue on a particular area of HIV research of great interest that increases our understanding of the virus and its complex interaction with the host.
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