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Prevention Among Injection Drug Users

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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Archival Content: 1999-2005

Training Doing the Work

What Can Outreach Workers Do To Help Drug Users Stay In Medical Care?

Outreach workers also must work with HIV-positive drug users to help them stay engaged with their HIV treatment and this can often be difficult.

A 2002 study examined whether the peer-driven intervention approach could help HIV-positive drug users accomplish this goal. In this study, HIV-positive drug users were divided into two groups. One group were “health advocates,” who were asked to meet with a peer once a week to support and encourage the peer in keeping appointments, picking up prescriptions, and adhering to treatment. The other group, the “peers,” were asked to meet with a health advocate once a week to receive support. The health advocates received small payments for helping the peers stay engaged with their treatment. Results of this study showed that engaging IDUs as outreach workers can help other IDUs stay in treatment.

  • Broadhead RS and others. Increasing drug users’ adherence to HIV treatment: results of a peer-driven intervention feasibility study. Social Science and Medicine 2002;55(2):235-246. (See abstract)

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