Conference Coverage

‘Clean and sober’ ex-prisoners have better HIV suppression



– Prisoners living with HIV who have drug- or alcohol-abuse disorders and are given extended-release naltrexone prior to release are significantly more likely to have improved viral suppression at 6 months, compared with fellow HIV+ prisoners who do not, investigators in two parallel clinical trials reported.

“A medication that can be used for reduction of alcohol and opiate use could also help stabilize patients coming out of prison and jail, and help maintain or achieve viral suppression,” said Sandra Springer, MD, from Yale University, New Haven, Conn.

Dr. Sandra Springer, Yale University, New Haven, Conn. Neil Osterweil/Frontline Medical News

Dr. Sandra Springer

Giving naltrexone XR (XR-NTX) to HIV-positive prisoners who are returning to the community can help health authorities achieve the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) “90-90-90 by 2020” goals of 90% of people who are HIV-positive knowing their HIV status, 90% receiving antiretroviral therapy, and 90% achieving viral suppression, she said at the annual Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections.

“The United States incarcerates more individuals than any other country in the world, and our prevalence rates in prison of HIV are three times greater, and if we’re trying to achieve the 90-90-90 goals in 2 years, we have to pay special attention to this population that has significant substance-use disorders, in particular opiate- and alcohol-use disorders,” she said at a briefing following her presentation of the data in an oral abstract session.


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