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 journalArticlepeer-review


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; I(2) = 10%; p = 0.04) or HIV testing/counselling (SMD -0.24; 95% CI -0.44 to -0.03; I(2) = 0%; p = 0.02); sharing of other injecting paraphernalia (SMD -0.24; 95% CI -0.42 to -0.06; I(2) = 0%; p < 0.01) and unprotected sex (SMD -0.44; 95% CI -0.86 to -0.01; I(2) = 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
JournalAIDS and behavior
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Apr 2017

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2017.


  • Journal Article
  • Review

Cite this