The Staying Safe Intervention program created by New York University’s Center for Drug Use and HIV Research reduced risk factors for contracting hepatitis C virus infection and HIV among injection drug users.
The program was based on a 2005 study that examined behaviors and strategies of injection drug users for 8 to 15 years who did not contract HCV or HIV. Methods of those drug users were used to teach injection drug use strategies during five group sessions on how to reduce injection drug-related risk behavior and risks for HCV and HIV, and how to develop planning and management skills.
Sixty-eight people who inject drugs participated in the intervention; 87% attended at least one group session, and 46% attended all five sessions.
Participants reported increases in planning skills to avoid injection-related risks (P<.001), increases in self-efficacy to avoid sharing injection equipment (P=.005) and increases in stigma management strategies (P=.002). There were no reported increases in patient access to education materials or emotional support from nonusing friends or family.
At the 3-month follow-up, patients reported the number of average weekly injections and daily drug expenses declined (P<.001). Their mean daily drug expenditure dropped from $77 before intervention to $47 afterward. There also were reductions in overall sharing of syringe and nonsyringe injection equipment, cotton filters, water and water containers when diluting drugs (P<.001 for all).
Source: Mateu-Gelabert P. AIDS Educ Prev. 2014.