Substance abuse treatment in human immunodeficiency virus: The role of patient-provider discussions

Philip Todd Korthuis, Joshua S. Josephs, John A. Fleishman, James Hellinger, Seth Himelhoch, Geetanjali Chander, Elizabeth B. Morse, Kelly A. Gebo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Substance abuse treatment is associated with decreases in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) risk behavior and can improve HIV outcomes. The purpose of this study was to examine factors associated with substance abuse treatment utilization, including patient-provider discussions of substance use issues. We surveyed 951 HIV-infected adults receiving care at 14 HIV Research Network primary care sites regarding drug and alcohol use, substance abuse treatment, and provider discussions of substance use issues. Although 71% reported substance use, only 24% reported receiving substance abuse treatment and less than half reported discussing substance use issues with their HIV providers. In adjusted logistic regression models, receipt of substance abuse treatment was associated with patient-provider discussions. Patient-provider discussions of substance use issues were associated with current drug use, hazardous or binge drinking, and Black race or ethnicity, though substance use was comparable between Blacks and Whites. These data suggest potential opportunities for improving engagement in substance abuse treatment services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-303
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ; 290-01-0012) and the National Institute on Aging (R01 AG026250), NIAAA (K23 AA015313), and National Institute on Drug Abuse (K23-DA00523, K23-DA019809, and K23-DA019820). Dr. Gebo was also supported by the Johns Hopkins University Richard Ross Clinician Scientist Award. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors. No official endorsement by the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health, or the AHRQ is intended or should be inferred. Special thanks to Moriah McSharry McGrath, MPH, MSUP, for assistance in manuscript preparation. Preliminary results were presented in abstract form at the International AIDS Conference (August 2006, Toronto, Canada) and the annual Society of General Internal Medicine meeting (April 2007, Toronto, Canada).


  • African Americans
  • Communication
  • HIV
  • Health services accessibility
  • Substance-related disorders
  • Transportation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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