NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON DRUG ABUSE POLICY ON COUNSELING AND TESTING FOR HIV/AIDS AND OTHER INFECTIOUS DISEASES Release Date: January 4, 2001 NOTICE: NOT-DA-01-001 National Institute on Drug Abuse ( PURPOSE In 1995, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) established a policy intended to reduce drug abuse-related transmission of HIV in its study populations. The policy encouraged NIDA-funded researchers to make HIV-risk reduction counseling and testing available to subjects at high risk for acquiring or transmitting HIV. In recognition of concerns about other infectious agents and their linkages with both drug abuse and HIV, this Notice revises the 1995 policy (available at to include hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV), tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and other infectious agents in addition to HIV. NIDA’s policy is that NIDA-funded researchers are strongly encouraged to provide and/or refer research subjects to HIV risk reduction counseling and testing, treatment, and other appropriate interventions, as needed, to prevent acquisition and transmission of infectious agents. A number of blood-borne and sexually transmitted infections (e.g., HBV, HCV, and both ulcerative and nonulcerative STDs) continue to cause major health problems among injecting and noninjecting drug users and their sex partners in the United States and internationally. The infants and children of drug users and their sex partners are also at high risk of exposure to these agents through vertical transmission from an infected mother, with consequent development of disease. Air- borne transmission of tuberculosis, including multiple-drug resistant strains, has also increased among drug abusers and their sex partners, posing a significant threat to public health. However, a variety of scientifically-based approaches, including testing and counseling, behavioral interventions, and disease and drug addiction treatment, are now available to facilitate risk reduction, behavior change, and health among drug users and their sexual partners and families. As a public health research institute, NIDA believes that researchers share the responsibility for preventing the acquisition and transmission of drug abuse-related diseases and helping individuals to find treatment for drug abuse and its comorbid conditions. Researchers funded by NIDA to conduct research in community outreach settings, clinics, hospitals, drug treatment programs, or other clinical settings and who have contact with clients at risk for acquisition or transmission of HIV and other blood-borne and sexually transmitted infections are strongly encouraged to provide education, counseling, and information on how to obtain treatment to those clients. Education and counseling to clients at risk should include offering testing for HIV, HBV, and HCV, and screening for STDs, if these services are available on site. Referrals to testing, screening, and treatment services should be offered if they are not available at the on-site location. In general, the opportunity to offer education and counseling will occur in any clinical or laboratory study that provides diagnostic, treatment, or other health or social services to participants over a period of time. Easy-to-read materials on drug abuse, HIV/AIDS, and other comorbid and infectious conditions should also be available to study participants in such research settings as surveys and studies where investigator-subject contacts occur only once and are brief. Counseling materials developed by NIDA ( and materials developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ( are available for use by interested parties, grantees, and contractors. Appropriate educational materials (manuals, brochures, and posters) may also be obtained by calling or writing the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (1-800-729- 6686) and the CDC’s National Prevention Information Network (1-800-458- 5231). For additional information on this policy, contact Henry L. Francis, M.D. or Elizabeth Y. Lambert, M.Sc. Center on AIDS and Other Medical Consequences of Drug Abuse National Institute on Drug Abuse 6001 Executive Blvd. Room 5198 MSC 9593 Bethesda, MD 20892 Telephone: (301) 443-2104 or (301) 402-1933 E-mail: or

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