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The treatment of substance use disorders is important to preventing HIV and HCV and to the overall care of HIV- and HCV-infected patients. Such treatment may require more flexibility than is customary in traditional substance abuse programs (Sorensen et al. 2005). For example, current guidelines recommend that substance abuse treatment providers give consideration to HIV disease severity to maximize retention of patients in treatment and thereby reduce public health risks (Center for Substance Abuse Treatment 2000). One of the major advantages of offering substance abuse treatment to HIV- and HCV-infected persons is that it can increase the likelihood of patients engaging in and adhering to medical treatment for HIV or HCV, especially when an integrated treatment approach is applied.

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