Attitudes toward mandatory human immunodeficiency virus testing and contact tracing. A survey of intravenous drug users in treatment

J Subst Abuse Treat. 1992;9(1):39-42. doi: 10.1016/0740-5472(92)90008-c.


Legal initiatives and treatment policies regarding mandatory human immunodeficiency virus testing and contact tracing often are considered without the input of those groups most affected by the proposed legislation. A survey of attitudes toward the testing and tracing issues was conducted on one such group--intravenous drug users in treatment. Interview and self-report questionnaire data were collected on 196 methadone-maintained patients from two Philadelphia clinics. Data indicate that although most methadone patients supported mandatory testing, their support appears to be influenced by past testing experience. That is, significantly more untested than tested individuals were opposed to the policy. Regarding contact tracing, data indicate that most patients with seronegative results supported tracing, but of the three patients with seropositive results who were surveyed, two were opposed to it. However, most seropositive and seronegative patients reported a willingness to comply with tracing if it were to become law.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • AIDS Serodiagnosis / psychology*
  • Adult
  • Attitude*
  • Contact Tracing* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Disclosure
  • Female
  • Health Policy / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Heroin Dependence / psychology
  • Heroin Dependence / rehabilitation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methadone / therapeutic use
  • Risk Factors
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / psychology*
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous / rehabilitation


  • Methadone