HIV infection as a predictor of methadone maintenance outcomes in Chinese injection drug users

Lin Zhao, William L. Holzemer, Mallory Johnson, Jacqueline P. Tulsky, Carol D. Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This paper's design is descriptive and correlational based on retrospective self-report survey data collected in Kunming city, China. The study investigated the difference between a group of Chinese HIV positive (N=36) and negative (N=131) opioid dependent adults maintained on methadone treatment. Comparisons were based on their quality of life (QOL), methadone treatment adherence, adverse symptom occurrence related to methadone treatment, and HIV-related behavior changes. No significant differences were found between the two groups in age, methadone maintenance dose, methadone adherence, sex desire, and drug craving level. Participants who were HIV positive reported significantly lower scores on physical health and total health-related qualify of life. They also reported greater engagement in injection related risk behavior before methadone treatment than those who tested HIV negative. For both groups, sexual and injection risk behavior significantly decreased following initiation of methadone treatment. A regression model revealed that those infected with HIV, associated significantly with higher likelihood of reporting constipation and lack of appetite, and higher frequency of reporting abdominal pain and nausea than HIV negative patients. The primary implication of these findings is that HIV positive persons in methadone treatment may require more focused services to meet their special HIV care and substance treatment needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-203
Number of pages9
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Social Psychology


  • China
  • HIV risk behavior
  • HIV status
  • adherence
  • libido
  • methadone maintenance treatment
  • opioid dependence
  • quality of life
  • symptom


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