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Sandra Springer, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine (AIDS) and Associate Clinical Professor of Nursing; Director, Infectious Disease Outpatient Clinic, Veterans Administration Healthcare Services, Newington

Research Summary

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.

Specialized Terms: Adherence Interventions for HIV+ prisoners with substance use disorders and mental illness, The use of Directly observed antiretroviral therapy (DAART); Buprenorphine/naloxone;extended-release naltrexone for alcohol and opioid dependence among HIV+ Criminal justice populations to improve retention in care post-release and suppress HIV Viral load.

Extensive Research Description

She has been an NIH-funded researcher including: PI on K02 Independent Scientist Award from NIDA, a K23 award from NIDA, 3 R01s ( NIDA and NIAAA) and Co-I on two R01s.

1.. The effect of alcohol pharmacotherapy (extended-release naltrexone) in a double-blind placebo-controlled randominzed trial to assess effects on relapse to alcohol use and HIV biological endpoints (CD4 count, HIV-1 Viral Load) among HIV+ alcohol dependent released prisoners.

2. 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.

3. HIV risk reduction among persons being released from correctional settings.

4. Improving linkages to care for HIV-infected released prisoners.

5. Identification and treatment of co-occurring mental illness among HIV+ released prisoners.

6. implementing XR-NTX among opioid dependent persons in Ukraine.

7. Evalauting the effect of buprenorphine to improve linkage to care for HIV+ opioid dependent persons with criminal justice histories in Washington D.C.

8. Evaluating the immunobiological outcomes among persons with opioid use disorders with HIV infection and without HIV infection.

9. Improving substance use outcomes for veterans living with alcohol and opioid use disorders involved with the criminal justice system.


Research Interests

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; Alcoholism; Buprenorphine; HIV; Naloxone; Naltrexone; Opioid-Related Disorders; Prisoners; Risk-Taking; Substance-Related Disorders

Public Health Interests

Behavioral Health; HIV/AIDS; Substance Use, Addiction

Selected Publications

Clinical Trials