Sandra Ann Springer MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine (AIDS); Director, Infectious Disease Outpatient Clinic, Veterans Administration Healthcare Services, Newington
Adherence Interventions for HIV+ prisoners with substance use disorders and mental illness, The use of Directly observed antiretroviral therapy (DAART); Buprenorphine/naloxone; Naltrexone
Current Projects1. Feasibility study evaluating effect of Buprenorphine/Naloxone administration on relapse to opioid use and HIV biological endpoints (CD4 count, HIV-1 Viral Load) among opioid dependent HIV+ released prisoners.
2. The effect of alcohol pharmacotherapy (injectable naltrexone) on relapse to alcohol use and HIV biological endpoints (CD4 count, HIV-1 Viral Load) among HIV+ alcohol dependent released prisoners.
3. Using a randomized, placebo-controlled trial, HIV treatment, opioid treatment and HIV risk behavior outcomes are examined among HIV+ prisoners with opioid dependence who are treated with injectable naltrexone as they are released to the community.
4. HIV screening and testing interventions for correctional settings.
5. Improving linkages to care for HIV-infected released prisoners.
6. Identification and treatment of co-occurring mental illness among HIV+ released prisoners.
Dr. Springer's research interests include improving adherence to antiretrovirals and drug treatment for HIV infected men and women with co-occurring substance use disorders and mental illness. Clinical research includes relapse prevention to opioid and alcohol use using substance dependence pharmacotherapies including buprenorphine and naltrexone among HIV+ released prisoners.
Extensive Research Description
She has received a 5 year K23 Career Development Award from the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) to study adherence interventions for HIV-infected opiate dependent released prisoners providing directly observed antiretroviral therapy and buprenorphine/naloxone treatment and its effects on relapse prevention as well as HIV clinical endpoints. Dr. Springer is also a CIRA- affiliated scientist. She has 2 R01s (NIAAA and NIDA) to evaluate the effectiveness of naltrexone to maintain HIV treatment outcomes via preventing relapse to alcohol and opioid use among HIV+ persons leaving the criminal justice system.
She has recently received a K02 independent scientist award from NIDA as well. Dr. Springer has expertise in the development and implementation of medication-assisted-therapy interventions involving HIV+, drug and alcohol dependent persons involved in the criminal justice setting.