Project Safe

HIV & HEP C Prevention Research 

Project Safe is a research program of the Division of Substance Dependence, Department of Psychiatry, at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.  We strive to reduce the spread of HIV and HEP C through research based prevention education, drug treatment facilitation, social service referrals, and street outreach.

Project Safe was founded in 1987 by Dr. Robert Booth, with Dr. Karen Corsi as Director since 2001. A majority of our funding is provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Over 150 journal articles, book chapters, and presentations (national and international) have been produced through Project Safe.

For more information about current studies, please call 


Project Safe provides free HIV & HEP C prevention information, condoms, bleach kits, & hygiene kits.  We have small food and clothing banks for clients currently participating in a study.


Drug users are at high risk of contracting and spreading HIV through sharing needles and having unprotected sex.  Clients participating in a study may receive the following services:

  • Theory-driven educational interventions to promote the reduction of HIV risk behavior
  • Structured interviews, focus groups and in-depth interviews, conducted  by research staff
  • Strengths based case management

    Our ability to provide these services is contingent on a strong research focus in which we systematically test different intervention strategies for their effectiveness in reducing risk 

    Examples of interventions which we have found to be effective in reducing HIV risk behaviors include HIV testing and counseling, case management, street outreach, harm reduction, motivational interviewing, and drug treatment.

    We are conveniently located at 1557 Ogden Street in Denver:


    Project Safe founder Robert Booth, PhD

    Papers published in peer-reviewed journals

    Drug Injectors and Dealers in Odessa, Ukraine

    Issues and Approaches to evaluating HIV Outreach Interventions

    HIV Risk-Related Sex Behavior among Injection Drug Users How Effective are Risk Reduction Interventions targeting Injection Drug Users?

    Quantitative & Qualitative Methods to Assess Behavioral Change among Injection Drug Users

    Predictors of Unsafe Needle Practices: Injection Drug Users in Denver

    Drug Use and HIV/AIDS: Breaking the Cycle of Infection


    Presentations and Events

    A Congressional Briefing Sponsored by The FRIENDS OF NIDA

    Researchers discuss drug abuse-HIV link at Capitol Hill briefing


    Karen F. Corsi, ScD, MPH - Associate Professor

    Papers published in peer-reviewed journals

    1. Fortuin Corsi K, Kwiatkowski CF, Booth RE.  Predictors of positive outcomes for out-of-treatment opiate injectors recruited into methadone maintenance through street outreach.  Journal of Drug Issues.  2002; Summer: 999-1016.
    2. Kwiatkowski CF, Fortuin Corsi K, Booth RE. The association between knowledge of Hepatitis C virus status and risk behaviors in injecting drug users.  Addiction. 2002;97:1289-1294.
    3. Reich W, Compton W, Horton J, Cottler L, Cunningham-Williams R, Booth RE, Singer M, Leukefeld C, Fink J, Stopka, T, Fortuin Corsi K, Staton TM,  Injection drug users report good access to pharmacy sale of syringes.  Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association.  Nov/Dec 2002;42 (Supplement 2):S68-S72.
    4. Reich W, Compton W, Horton J, Cottler L, Cunningham-Williams R, Booth RE, Singer M, Leukefeld C, Fink J, Stopka, T, Fortuin Corsi K, Staton TM,  Pharmacist ambivalence about over-the-counter sale of syringes to injection drug users.  Journal of the American Pharmaceutical Association.  Nov/Dec 2002;42 (Supplement 2):S52-S57.
    5. Booth RE, Corsi KF, Mikulich SK.  Improving entry to methadone maintenance among out-of-treatment drug users.  Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 2003;24:305-311. 
    6. Compton WM, Horton JC, Cottler LB, Booth RE, Leukefeld CG, Singer M, Cunningham-Williams R, Reich W, Fortuin Corsi K, Staton M, Fink JL, Stopka TJ, Spitznagel EL.  A multistate trial of pharmacy syringe purchase. Journal of Urban Health.  2004;661-670.
    7. Booth RE, Corsi, KF, Mikulich-Gilbertson SK. Factors associated with methadone maintenance treatment retention among street-recruited injection drug users.  Drug and Alcohol Dependence.  2004;74:177-185.   
    8. Booth RE, Kwiatkowski CF, Mikulich-Gilbertson SK, Brewster JT, Salomonsen-Sautel S, Corsi KF, Sinitsyna L.  Predictors of risky needle use following interventions with injection drug users in Ukraine.  Drug and Alcohol Dependence.  82(S1):S49-S56, 2006.
    9. Corsi KF, Kwiatkowski CF, Booth RE.  Long-term predictors of HIV risk behaviors among IDUs.   Journal of Drug Issues.  36(3): 649-666, 2006.
    10. Corsi KF, Van Hunnik B, Kwiatkowski CF, Booth RE.  Computerized Tracking and Follow-up Techniques in Longitudinal Research with Drug Users.  Health Services and Outcomes Research Methodology, 6:101-110, 2006.
    11. Corsi KF, Kwiatkowski CF, Booth RE. Treatment entry and predictors among opiate-using injection drug users.  The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 33(1): 121-127,2007. 
    12. Corsi KF, Winch PJ, Kwiatkowski CF, Booth RE. Childhood factors that precede drug injection: is there a link? Journal of Child and Family Studies, 16(7):808-818, 2007.
    13. Corsi KF, Booth, RE. HIV sex risk behaviors among heterosexual methamphetamine users.  Current Drug Abuse Reviews, 2008: 1:292-296.
    14. Corsi KF, Kwiatkowski CF, Booth RE. Predictors of methamphetamine injection in out-of-treatment    IDUs.  Substance Use and Misuse. 44:332-342, 2009.
    15. Corsi KF, Lehman WE, Booth RE. The effect of methadone on positive outcomes for opiate injection drug users. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 37:120-127, 2009.
    16. Corsi KF, Rinehart DJ, Kwiatkowski CF, Booth RE. Case management outcomes for women who use crack.  Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work, 7:1-11, 2010.
    17. Binswanger IA, Nowels C, Corsi KF, Long J, Booth RE, Kutner J, Steiner JF. From the Prison Door Right to the Sidewalk, Everything Went Downhill. A Qualitative Study of the Health Experiences of Recently Released Inmates.  Submitted to Annals of Internal Medicine.

    Psychiatry (SOM)

    CU Anschutz

    Anschutz Health Sciences Building

    1890 N Revere Ct

    Suite 4003

    Mail Stop F546

    Aurora, CO 80045


    CMS Login