Implications for evaluation and intervention planning for special populations at risk for HIV
In the past two decades, HIV infection spread rapidly among specific groups engaging in at-risk behaviors, particularly among substance abusers, resulting in an intensified period of federally funded community-based research. Although an enormous amount of progress has been made, we are faced with new challenges in the next generation of work. During the last 15 years, researchers, service providers, and public health advocates have formed multidisciplinary teams that responded to the challenges of the changing dynamics of this epidemic by conducting applied research within disadvantaged communities and with those populations whose behavior made them most vulnerable to infection. Experts in the fields of both substance abuse and HIV research have pioneered new methods such as outreach for recruiting and educating out-of-treatment drug users and prevention approaches that range from facilitating treatment entry to needle-exchange.