Iranian Female Methadone Patients and the Perceived Educational Needs Related to Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Document Type : Original Article


1 Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Addiction Institute AND Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran

2 PhD Candidate, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Addiction Institute, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran

3 Researcher, Substance Abuse and Dependence Research Center, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran

4 Psychiatrist, Kian Drug Rehabilitation and Detoxification Center, Mashhad, Iran

5 PhD Candidate, Student Research Center, International Campus, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

6 Psychiatrist, Substance Abuse and Dependence Research Center, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran

7 Researcher, Iranian National Center for Addiction Studies, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

8 PhD Candidate, Substance Abuse and Dependence Research Center, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Background: Iranian female methadone patients are at risk of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) due to involvement in high-risk sexual behaviours and/or needle sharing. The present study aimed to explore the perceived educational needs related to HIV among a group of Iranian female methadone patients.
Methods:The research design was qualitative and the participants were sampled purposively.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 34 women and 19 clinicians in Sari, Mashhad, and Tehran, Iran. Then, qualitative content analysis was implemented.
Findings: The emergence of three major themes and six minor themes was revealed. Women expressed a need to increase their knowledge including women-specific pathophysiology and disease progression and the modes of the virus transmission and prevention. Women also expressed a need to enhance their knowledge and skills related to the physical management of the virus including self-care and reproductive health. Other themes included perceived psychosocial needs including removing stigma and access to resources in the community.

Conclusion: Women reported a wide range of educational needs from basic knowledge to advanced skills. The findings can be used in designing women-specific educational programs related to HIV in Iran. Larger studies are suggested with gender-mixed samples in the Persian context


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