Codman Co-Hosts Conference on HIV and Substance Use Disorder: Lessons Learned

Denise Croken, NP, CARN-NP, with former Codman staff member Pooja Raval, MC, and Raphael Apter, LMHC.

This winter, Codman staff joined forces with the National Aids Education and Training Center to host a full-day conference in Boston titled “35 Years of HIV and SUD Lessons Learned and Shared Experiences.” The conference was organized and kicked off by Codman’s Dr. Jonathan Pincus, MD, who has worked in HIV care for more than 25 years.

“When I started working with HIV patients in the 90s, they faced serious stigma, complex treatment needs, housing issues, and other challenges,” says Dr. Pincus “We are seeing patients with addiction facing many of those same issues, so we believe there is great value in getting those involved together to talk about what we’ve learned and the best ways to move forward.”

At the conference, experts in the fields gathered together and shared information, broke into discussion groups, and heard from experts in topics such as community engagement, peer/patient engagement, legal support, and more. Like HIV, harm reduction practices in addiction use can save lives, and providers see that up close.

In addition to Dr. Pincus’ contributions, Codman’s Ian Huntington, MD, and Denise Croken, NP, spoke about advanced clinical issues in substance use health and wellness. They presented on a cutting-edge treatment that is a long-acting injectable for opioid disorder. Instead of a pill every day, patients can get an injection once a month. “Codman was one of the first community health centers in the state to offer this injectable, so we were happy to share our experiences,” says Denise Croken, MSN, NP, CARN-NP, a substance use health and wellness nurse practitioner.