AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 20, Issue 12, pp 2950–2960 | Cite as

Attitudes Toward Addiction, Methadone Treatment, and Recovery Among HIV-Infected Ukrainian Prisoners Who Inject Drugs: Incarceration Effects and Exploration of Mediators

  • Maxim Polonsky
  • Julia Rozanova
  • Lyuba Azbel
  • Chethan Bachireddy
  • Jacob Izenberg
  • Tetiana Kiriazova
  • Sergii Dvoryak
  • Frederick L. Altice
Original Paper


In this study, we use data from a survey conducted in Ukraine among 196 HIV-infected people who inject drugs, to explore attitudes toward drug addiction and methadone maintenance therapy (MMT), and intentions to change drug use during incarceration and after release from prison. Two groups were recruited: Group 1 (n = 99) was currently incarcerated and Group 2 (n = 97) had been recently released from prison. This paper’s key finding is that MMT treatment and addiction recovery were predominantly viewed as mutually exclusive processes. Group comparisons showed that participants in Group 1 (pre-release) exhibited higher optimism about changing their drug use, were less likely to endorse methadone, and reported higher intention to recover from their addiction. Group 2 participants (post-release), however, reported higher rates of HIV stigma. Structural equation modeling revealed that in both groups, optimism about recovery and awareness of addiction mediated the effect of drug addiction severity on intentions to recover from their addiction.


Methadone HIV Prisoners Opioid Agonist Therapies Addiction Ukraine Structural Equation Modeling 



This research received funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for research (R01 DA029910 and R01 DA033679) and career development (K24 DA017072), the Yale University School of Medicine’s Office of Student Research, the Yale University Global Health Initiative, the International Renaissance Foundation, and the NIH Fogarty Research Training Grant (R25 TW009338). No funding source had any role in study design, collection or analysis of data, writing or review of the manuscript, or decision to submit this paper for publication.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maxim Polonsky
    • 1
  • Julia Rozanova
    • 1
  • Lyuba Azbel
    • 2
  • Chethan Bachireddy
    • 3
  • Jacob Izenberg
    • 4
  • Tetiana Kiriazova
    • 5
  • Sergii Dvoryak
    • 5
  • Frederick L. Altice
    • 1
    • 6
    • 7
  1. 1.Section of Infectious DiseasesYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.London School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of California San Francisco School of MedicineSan FranciscoUSA
  5. 5.Ukrainian Institute on Public Health PolicyKievUkraine
  6. 6.Department of Epidemiology of Microbial DiseasesYale School of Public HealthNew HavenUSA
  7. 7.University of Malaya, Centre of Excellence on Research in AIDS (CERiA)Kuala LumpurMalaysia

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