Drug-using women with or at risk for HIV infection have many competing unmet needs, especially for social services, drug treatment, and medical care. High-risk drug-using women were recruited through street outreach, at needle exchange sites, a prison, and local community based organizations in New Haven, Connecticut for a study of the service needs of out-of-treatment drug users and the ability of an interactive case management intervention (ICM) to address those needs. These women were administered baseline and follow-up interviews to identify their health and social service needs and the degree to which these needs were solved. The women who chose to enroll in the interactive case management intervention (n = 38) did not differ demographically nor in their HIV risk behaviors from those not receiving case management (n = 73). Provision of ICM was most successful in meeting needs for supportive mental health counseling, basic services, and long term housing. The impact of interactive case management was less evident for the acquisition of medical and dental services, which were accessed comparably by women not receiving the intervention. Overall, the women who enrolled in the ICM intervention showed a significant decrease in the number of unmet service needs as compared to those who did not enroll. Multiple contacts were required by the case manager to establish trust and to resolve the unmet service needs of these high-risk women. Women with or at risk for HIV infection can be effectively engaged in an ICM intervention in order to meet their multiple unmet service needs, although such interventions are time- and-labor intensive.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health