Methadone reduces HIV risk: Vancouver study (Dr. Keith Ahamad)

Methadone users are four times less likely to contract HIV compared to their counterparts that haven’t participated in the opiate replacement therapy, according to a new medical study out of Vancouver.

Dr. Keith Ahamad and his team monitored 1,639 injection drug users over a 17-year period primarily in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside area — the criteria being that at the start of the study, all of them had to test negative for HIV.

His goal was to find out whether the 20% of study participants that were in the methadone program — a medical treatment to replace heroin — actually saw any improvements in HIV prevention.

Michael Mui reports

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