This course is based upon course material developed and deployed by the National Institute on
Drug Abuse (NIDA), which is a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health. The course material can be found on the NIDA website.
The course material provides a brief but accurate review of what HIV and AIDS are, providing enough detail to inform the practicing clinician so that they can improve their practice. It goes on to describe how HIV is detected and treated as well as the relationship between drug abuse and the HIV epidemic. How the HIV epidemic has changed over the last 30 years as well as the scope of infection within the US are reviewed. Hepatitis C and HIV co-infections is also discussed. Differences HIV infections in several ethnic groups and women are also reviewed. Lastly, interventions to reduce the risk of HIV infection and the spread of the disease are discussed.
According to the director of the NIDA, this report is designed to highlight the state of the science and to raise awareness of the link between HIV/AIDS and drug abuse — not just injection drug use but drug abuse in general. People who are high on drugs or alcohol are more likely to have unsafe sex that might expose them to HIV and other infectious diseases. In some populations, HIV prevalence is converging among injection and noninjection drug users, suggesting that the
risky behavior associated with drug abuse in general is fueling the sustained spread of the virus. For this reason, drug abuse treatment is HIV prevention.
This course on HIV and drug abuse is constructive for psychologists, social workers, addiction professionals, professional counselors, and chemical dependency counselors who practice and need continuing education. This course is appropriate for beginning, intermediate and advanced level practitioners who wish to develop their understanding of HIV and drug abuse. It may also be useful for licensed clinicians who require HIV course credits and are interested in becoming more cross culturally competent learning more about specific populations and HIV.
Authors: National Institute on Drug Abuse
Learning Objectives: This course will provide the practitioner with detailed information regarding HIV and drug abuse. Specifically, a professional will:
· Identify the diagnostic criteria, modes of transmission and treatments available for HIV as well as changes in the epidemic over the last 30 years
· Recognize the differences in HIV prevalence between different groups and the factors associated with HIV infection for those groups
· Distinguish effective interventions for reducing the risk of HIV infection for clients
Citation: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). (2012). Drug Abuse and HIV. Research Report Series. NIH Publication Number 12-5760. Revised July 2012.