Proportion of opioid treatment programs offering on-site testing for HIV and STIs declines

December 24, 2013

A survey of opioid treatment programs finds that the proportion offering on-site testing for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) declined substantially between 2000 and 2011, despite guidelines recommending routine opt-out HIV testing in all health care settings, according to a study appearing in the December 25 issue of JAMA.

"Opioid dependence is a risk factor for HIV, STIs, and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Opioid treatment programs, which provide treatment to more than 300,000 opioid-dependent individuals in the United States, are well-positioned to offer testing for these infectious diseases to a high-risk population. They were among the first venues to offer HIV testing and are more likely to offer HIV, STI, and HCV testing than other drug treatment programs. Private for-profit opioid treatment programs are increasingly widespread and such programs offer on-site HIV testing less often than nonprofit and public programs. However, with the 2006 national recommendations for routine opt-out HIV testing, we hypothesized that the percentage of programs offering on-site testing for HIV, STIs, and HCV would increase," the authors write.

Marcus A. Bachhuber, M.D., and Chinazo O. Cunningham, M.D., M.S., of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, analyzed data from a survey sent to directors of drug treatment facilities and tabulated the percentage of opioid treatment programs offering on-site HIV, STI, and HCV testing from 2000 to 2011.

The number of U.S. opioid treatment programs increased from 849 in 2000 to 1,175 in 2011. The percentage of programs operating as for-profit businesses increased from 43 percent to 54 percent, nonprofits decreased from 43 percent to 36 percent, and public programs decreased from 14 percent to 10 percent. From 2000 to 2011, the absolute number of programs offering testing for HIV, STIs, and HCV increased but the percentage offering on-site testing for HIV declined by 18 percent and for STIs by 13 percent. There was no change for HCV testing. More than 75 percent of public programs offered on-site testing for each infection, with no change over time.

"Declines were most pronounced in for-profit programs, suggesting that persons enrolled in these programs may be at increased risk for delayed diagnosis and continued transmission of HIV, STIs, and HCV," the authors write.

"Opioid treatment programs are important venues for offering testing to high-risk individuals. As the number of for-profit opioid increases, and the opioid, HIV, and HCV epidemics continue to intersect, further work is needed to understand and reverse declines in offering on-site testing."

Explore further: HIV-HCV coinfection speeds HCV-related liver fibrosis

More information: doi:10.l001/jama.2013.278456

Related Stories

HIV-HCV coinfection speeds HCV-related liver fibrosis

February 27, 2013
(HealthDay)—Individuals who are coinfected with HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) exhibit liver fibrosis similar to that of individuals without HIV who are nearly 10 years older, according to research published online Feb. ...

Brief risk-reduction counseling at time of HIV testing does not result in reduction in rate of STIs

October 22, 2013
Brief risk-reduction counseling at the time of a rapid human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) test was not effective for reducing new sexually transmitted infections (STIs) during the subsequent 6 months among persons at risk ...

Efforts to ensure earlier diagnosis of HIV infection across Europe are still needed

September 3, 2013
Late diagnosis of HIV infection and entry into care remains a substantial problem across Europe according to a study published in this week's PLOS Medicine. The study, which was an international collaboration led by Amanda ...

Peer-referral programs can increase HIV-testing in emergency departments

May 17, 2013
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati (UC) have found that incorporating a peer-referral program for HIV testing into emergency departments can reach new groups of high-risk patients and brings more patients into the ...

Researchers show cost-effectiveness of HIV testing in drug abuse treatment programs

September 9, 2012
Less than half of community-based substance abuse treatment programs in the United States currently make HIV testing available on-site or through referral. A new study led by researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College shows ...

France okays home tests for HIV

November 7, 2013
Self-testing HIV kits will go on sale in France next year under a strategy aimed at reducing the spread of the virus causing AIDS, Health Minister Marisol Touraine said on Thursday.

Recommended for you

Scientists elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies to HIV in calves

July 20, 2017
Scientists supported by the National Institutes of Health have achieved a significant step forward, eliciting broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) to HIV by immunizing calves. The findings offer insights for HIV vaccine ...

Heart toxin reveals new insights into HIV-1 integration in T cell genome

July 20, 2017
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 may have evolved to integrate its genetic material into certain immune-cell-activating genes in humans, according to new research published in PLOS Pathogens.

Scientists capture first high-resolution image of key HIV protein transitional state

July 13, 2017
A new, three-dimensional snapshot of HIV demonstrates the radical structural transformations that enable the virus to recognize and infect host cells, according to a new study led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute ...

Barrier to autoimmune disease may open door to HIV, study suggests

July 11, 2017
Researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine have discovered that a process that protects the body from autoimmune disease also prevents the immune system from generating antibodies that can neutralize the ...

Team tests best delivery mode for potential HIV vaccine

June 20, 2017
For decades, HIV has successfully evaded all efforts to create an effective vaccine but researchers at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology (LJI) are steadily inching ...

Mathematical modeling uncovers mysteries of HIV infection in the brain

June 19, 2017
After uncovering the progression of HIV infection in the brain thanks to a new mathematical model developed by a UAlberta research team, clinicians and researchers are developing a nasal spray to administer drugs more effectively.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.