Mood and HIV Risk Behavior Among Drug-Dependent Veterans

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This study extends prior investigations of risk behaviors for contracting and transmitting the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among treatment-seeking drug abusers by analyzing the relationship between HIV risk behavior and drug use and psychopathology variables. The Beck Depression Inventory the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory and measures of knowledge related to the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) were administered to 170 consecutive admissions to a Veterans Administration drug dependence treatment unit Subjects with high anxiety and depression scores reported engaging in significantly more HIV drug-risk behaviors than other subjects. In terms of drug of choice, polydrug users did not report engaging in significantly more high-risk sexual behaviors than subjects solely abusing cocaine. The clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

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