Participant characteristics and HIV risk behaviors among individuals entering integrated buprenorphine/naloxone and HIV care

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2011 Mar 1;56 Suppl 1:S14-21. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e318209d3b9.


Objective: This study was part of a national, multisite demonstration project evaluating the impact of integrated buprenorphine/naloxone treatment and HIV care. The goals of this study were to describe the baseline demographic, clinical, and substance use characteristics of the participants and to explore HIV transmission risk behaviors in this group.

Methods: Nine sites across the United States participated. Data obtained by interview and chart review included demographic information, medical history, substance use, and risk behaviors.We performed a descriptive analysis of patient characteristics at entry and used logistic regression to evaluate factors associated with 1) unprotected anal or vaginal sex; and 2) needle-sharing within the previous 90 days.

Results: Three hundred eighty-six individuals were included in the study: 303 (78.5%) received buprenorphine/naloxone; 41 (10.6%) received methadone; and 42 (10.9%) received another form of treatment. The analysis of risk behaviors was limited to those in the buprenorphine group (n = 303). Among those reporting vaginal or anal sex in the previous 90 days, 24% had sex without a condom. Factors significantly associated with unprotected sex were: having a partner; female gender; and alcohol use in previous 30 days. A total of 8.9% of participants shared needles in the previous 90 days. Factors significantly associated with needle-sharing were: amphetamine use; marijuana use; homelessness; and anxiety.

Conclusions: Addressing transmission risk behaviors is an important secondary HIV prevention strategy. In addition to treatment for opioid dependence, addressing other substance use, social issues, particularly housing, and mental health may have important implications for reducing HIV transmission in HIV-infected opioid-dependent patients.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-HIV Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active
  • Buprenorphine / therapeutic use*
  • Buprenorphine, Naloxone Drug Combination
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methadone / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Naloxone / therapeutic use*
  • Narcotic Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Needle Sharing
  • Odds Ratio
  • Opiate Substitution Treatment
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Unsafe Sex


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Buprenorphine, Naloxone Drug Combination
  • Narcotic Antagonists
  • Naloxone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Methadone