During the past 15 years, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has sponsored a comprehensive research program in response to the dynamic nature of the co-occurring epidemics of drug abuse and HIV/AIDS. This research has yielded a set of scientifically based principles that should prove useful to community planners, policymakers, service providers, and medical practitioners as they develop and implement programs to prevent the spread of HIV and other infections among injecting and non-injecting drug users and their sexual partners. To foster widespread use of these principles, NIDA is pleased to provide this research-based guide: Principles of HIV/AIDS Prevention in
Pages 1-4 of the guide summarize the basic overarching principles that characterize effective HIV/AIDS prevention in drug-using populations. Pages 13-21 elaborate on these principles by providing answers to frequently asked questions. Pages 23-27 describe the epidemiology of HIV/AIDS risk behaviors. This section also provides an overview of major research programs that NIDA has supported since the mid-1980s to gauge the effectiveness of outreach-based interventions in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS and other diseases among drug users and their sex partners.
Although research has shown clearly that HIV/AIDS can be prevented in drug-using populations, the epidemic continues to spread. We must take every opportunity to meet this public health threat, not only by advancing our research efforts but also by ensuring that our research findings on HIV/AIDS prevention are adapted for use within diverse drug-using groups and their communities. We hope that this guide will be an important contribution to our ever-expanding prevention toolbox.
Glen Hanson, Ph.D., D.D.S.
National Institute on Drug Abuse