A Psychoeducational Approach to Prevent HIV Transmission Among Injection Drug Users

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Given the potential for rapid spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), a cost-effective means of preventing further contagion is needed. Many individuals have modified long-standing behavior patterns to lower their risk for acquiring and transmitting HIV for others, however, simply being informed of the mechanisms of transmission is insufficient in promoting long-term behavioral changes. This article describes a psychoeducational approach to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome risk reduction for injection drug users. The psychoeducational strategy not only provides information but also focuses on psychological principles useful in the promotion of behavior change. This program was designed as a small-group intervention for injection drug users within the context of an ongoing drug rehabilitation program. The content has been customized to a target population of primarily African-American men who abuse cocaine.

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