J Epidemiol Community Health 63:191-196 doi:10.1136/jech.2008.079301
  • Research agenda

HIV prevention and psychoactive drug use: a research agenda

  1. D C Des Jarlais1,
  2. S Semaan2
  1. 1
    Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, New York, USA
  2. 2
    National Center for HIV/AIDS, viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  1. Dr D C Des Jarlais, Beth Israel Medical Center/CDI, 160 Water Street – 24th Floor, New York, NY 10038, USA; dcdesjarla{at}
  • Accepted 10 November 2008


Much has been learned about how to prevent HIV infection among psychoactive drug users in the last 25 years, but, worldwide, the problems of drug-use-related HIV transmission have increased during this time. We consider the need for additional research on four aspects of drug use-related HIV transmission: (1) why evidence-based effective prevention programmes have not been implemented, (2) HIV infection among ethnic minority drug users, (3) relationships—or lack of relationships—between individual risk behaviour and HIV infection and (4) reducing drug use-related sexual transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). These topics were selected because we see them as critical for reducing HIV transmission among drug users (topics 1 and 4), reducing health disparities among racial and ethnic groups of drug users (topic 2), and understanding HIV epidemiology and evaluating prevention programmes for drug users (topic 3).


  • Competing interests: None.