New study examines addiction medicine treatment in Vietnam


An evaluation revealed this week within the journal The Lancet HIV gives new perception about an initiative to combine therapy of opioid use dysfunction together with HIV in Vietnam.

The research marks one of many first scientifically strong assessments of a brand new mannequin of treating HIV in decrease or center revenue nations the place injection drug use is a significant reason behind HIV an infection. It additionally suggests the significance of constructing help for peer and group connections to deal with the opioid epidemic that continues to ravage america within the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The research was led by scientists and physicians at Hanoi Medical College and Oregon Well being & Science College.

“Our research means that nations that wish to broaden therapy for opioid use dysfunction with buprenorphine ought to think about interventions to help retention on therapy directed at household networks, friends and group well being employees,” stated co-author Todd Korthuis, M.D., M.P.H., a pacesetter in habit medication at OHSU and the research’s principal investigator.

Korthuis, professor of medication (basic inside medication and geriatrics) within the OHSU College of Drugs, grew to become concerned in initiating this system in Vietnam after serving as a Visiting Fulbright Scholar in 2012-13.

The brand new research is the primary multisite randomized trial to check HIV clinic-based buprenorphine remedy in contrast with merely referring HIV sufferers to methadone clinics for opioid use dysfunction therapy. The research examined outcomes for opioid use dysfunction and for HIV, and the way properly members caught with therapy.

Researchers discovered that ongoing help is vital.

“We perceive that habit is a mind illness, so folks have relapses,” senior creator Le Minh Giang, M.D., Ph.D., chair of worldwide well being at Hanoi Medical College, stated in a podcast hosted by The Lancet HIV. “In lots of instances, the sufferers left the opioid use dysfunction therapy after which relapsed into drug use. That is problematic for individuals who do not have good help from medical workers.”

Buprenorphine, also referred to as Suboxone, may be prescribed and used exterior a specialty habit clinic, whereas methadone should be intently monitored partly due to a better threat of overdose in unsupervised settings. Between July of 2015 and February of 2018, a complete of 281 folks had been enrolled in a pilot mission to deal with folks with buprenorphine – a primary in Vietnam.

“It is a extra versatile therapy than methadone upkeep,” Korthuis stated. “You may combine it into HIV clinics and, theoretically, in main care clinics. Methadone must be very rigorously managed in a specialty setting.”

The brand new research discovered that entry to buprenorphine is crucial for nations aiming to broaden entry to therapy for opioid use dysfunction, particularly amongst sufferers additionally being handled for HIV.

“One of many issues I used to be impressed with, is the very tight social cloth in Vietnam,” Korthuis stated within the Lancet podcast. “It is unattainable to not overstate the function of the household, the function of the neighborhood and the function of the group in each facet of life, together with well being care.”

In actual fact, Korthuis is already implementing an identical outreach mannequin in a number of rural counties in Oregon by an initiative funded by the Nationwide Institutes of Well being. Often known as Oregon HIV/Hepatitis and Opioid Prevention and Engagement, or Oregon HOPE, the initiative depends on friends who’ve recovered from habit to interact their neighbors in prevention and therapy companies.

This system is at the moment energetic in a number of counties throughout southern and japanese Oregon.

“Neighborhood well being employees who actually know their neighborhoods are actually good at partaking folks in habit therapy – and protecting them in therapy,” Korthuis stated.


The Oregon HOPE mission now contains Lane, Douglas, Josephine, Curry, Coos, a part of Jackson and Umatilla counties in Oregon.

The analysis was supported by grants from the NIH Nationwide Institute on Drug Abuse, awards R01DA037441 and UG1DA015815; and NIH Nationwide Middle of Advancing Translational Sciences award UL1TR002369.

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