Areas Recommended for Future Emphasis
Research: Consensus was reached that NIDA/NIH and/or world organizations
such as the PAHO/WHO should support research on drug abuse and co-occurring
infections including HIV, hepatitis, tuberculosis, and sexually transmitted
diseases. Suggested areas of research were: (i) epidemiology, basic, clinical,
diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and health care access, with emphasis
on high risk sub-populations including IVDUs, men who have sex with men,
women, children, adolescents and youth; (ii) behavioral (attitudinal and
motivational) research applicable to different cultures; (iii) development
of instruments to evaluate HIV and HCV prevention knowledge and service
needs of drug users and that are applicable to various Latin and North
American countries; (iv) development of strategies and infrastructure
to further encourage collaborations in the United States, Latin America
and the Caribbean Islands; and (v) establish special funding programs
dedicated for less developed Latin and Caribbean countries to improve
the capacity to provide health care.
Protocol development: Support the development of standard research protocols
that could be used in different cultures, countries, regions and communities
to foster the utilization of clinical and applied research findings applicable
to a wide variety of infected drug users.
Intervention (prevention/treatment): Develop actions, strategies and
infrastructure to promote development, continuity and impact of interventions
(prevention, treatment), and risk reduction programs for drug abusers
with co-occurring infections.
Publication/Dissemination: Disseminate research findings and best practices
via publications, conferences and workshops to professionals engaged in
providing health care at the clinic and community levels in Latin America
and the Caribbean Islands.
Training: Develop programs of training investigators and other professionals
in the areas of epidemiology, intervention, diagnosis, management of infections,
and health care access specific to minorities in Latin America and the
Caribbean Islands; develop bilingual training manuals for professionals
engaged in providing health care access to drug users with infections;
provide travel awards/scholarships to young investigators to attend international
meetings on AIDS and Drug Abuse.
Policy: Based on sound research, formulate/design policies that would
promote sound health care practices applicable to drug users with co-occurring
infections in Latin America and the Caribbean Islands.