A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Psychosocial Interventions to Reduce Drug and Sexual Blood Borne Virus Risk Behaviours Among People Who Inject Drugs

Gail Gilchrist, Davina Swan, Kideshini Widyaratna, Julia Elena Marquez-Arrico, Elizabeth Hughes, Noreen Dadirai Mdege, Marrissa Martyn-St James, Judit Tirado-Munoz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

10 Citations (Scopus)


Opiate substitution treatment and needle exchanges have reduced blood borne virus (BBV) transmission among people who inject drugs (PWID). Psychosocial interventions could further prevent BBV. A systematic review and meta-analysis examined whether psychosocial interventions (e.g. CBT, skills training) compared to control interventions reduced BBV risk behaviours among PWID. 32 and 24 randomized control trials (2000-May 2015 in MEDLINE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Cochrane Collaboration and Clinical trials, with an update in MEDLINE to December 2016) were included in the review and meta-analysis respectively. Psychosocial interventions appear to reduce: sharing of needles/syringes compared to education/information (SMD −0.52; 95% CI −1.02 to −0.03; I2 = 10%; p = 0.04) or HIV testing/counselling (SMD −0.24; 95% CI −0.44 to −0.03; I2 = 0%; p = 0.02); sharing of other injecting paraphernalia (SMD −0.24; 95% CI −0.42 to −0.06; I2 = 0%; p < 0.01) and unprotected sex (SMD −0.44; 95% CI −0.86 to −0.01; I2 = 79%; p = 0.04) compared to interventions of a lesser time/intensity, however, moderate to high heterogeneity was reported. Such interventions could be included with other harm reduction approaches to prevent BBV transmission among PWID.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1791-1811
Number of pages21
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number7
Early online date1 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


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