186133 Availability of HIV Screening and Education in the US Addiction Treatment System

Monday, October 27, 2008: 5:24 PM

Amanda J. Abraham, PhD , Institute for Behavioral Research, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Paul Roman, PhD , Center for Research on Behavioral Health and Human Services Delivery, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
The CDC estimates there are currently one million Americans living with HIV/ AIDS and nearly one-fourth of these individuals are not aware they are infected. Given the historical link between drug abuse and HIV, the addiction treatment system has the opportunity to play a central role in the early detection and prevention of HIV. The key objective of this study is to determine to what extent US addiction treatment programs are screening and educating clients about HIV. Data from a nationally representative sample of 400 addiction treatment programs indicates that 74% of addiction treatment centers routinely assess patients for the risk of HIV/AIDS at intake, however a significantly lower number of treatment centers provide a full spectrum of HIV screening, counseling, and education services. For example, only 34% of treatment centers provide HIV antibody testing onsite. Centers providing this service report testing an average of 20% of their total caseload for HIV/AIDS annually. Additionally, only 14% of treatment centers provide onsite support groups for clients with HIV/AIDS. Finally, while 85% of centers report offering HIV/AIDS education and prevention services, less than half require counselors to cover HIV education as part of their usual interaction with clients. Overall, these findings indicate the addiction treatment system is not maximizing its opportunity to screen and educate clients about HIV/AIDS. To make a more significant impact on HIV related health outcomes and improve the overall quality of addiction treatment, we suggest that treatment programs increase efforts to provide HIV screening and education services in-house.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe HIV screening and education practices in the US addiction treatment system 2. Discuss the implications of HIV screening and education services for the overall prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS 3. Provide suggestions to improve the quality of HIV screening and education practices in the US addiction treatment system

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Treatment System

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Georgia's Institute for Behavioral Research. My areas of study include the US Addiction Treatment System, the adoption of pharmacotherapies for the treatment of alcohol dependence, and public opinions of alcoholism and alcoholics.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.