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HIV Risk Reduction in Outpatient Drug Abuse Treatment
In the national Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Studies (DATOS), many clients in outpatient methadone treatment (OMT) and outpatient drug-free (ODF) modalities were admitted with multiple sex and needle-risk behaviors, but they reduced these risks significantly during treatment. Using hierarchical linear model regression analysis, we examined client and treatment program characteristics as predictors of initial risk levels and of reductions over time. Clients who used cocaine frequently before treatment or had antisocial personality disorder entered treatment with elevated risks. In both modalities, cocaine users reduced risky behaviors significantly, but antisocial clients did so only in OMT. Treatment programs located in cities with higher prevalence rates of HIV/AIDS admitted clients with lower baseline levels of risk behavior than found in other cities. OMT programs in lower prevalence cities achieved higher rates of risk reduction than programs in higher prevalence cities. Reduction of sex and needle risks in both the OMT and ODF modalities indicates the importance of outpatient drug abuse treatment to national HIV prevention policy.