Improved adherence to modern antiretroviral therapy among HIV-infected injecting drug users
Department of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada. HIV Medicine
(Impact Factor: 3.99).
05/2012; 13(10):596-601. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-1293.2012.01021.x
Adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) among injecting drug users (IDUs) is often suboptimal, yet little is known about changes in patterns of adherence since the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy in 1996. We sought to assess levels of optimal adherence to ART among IDUs in a setting of free and universal HIV care.
Data were collected through a prospective cohort study of HIV-positive IDUs in Vancouver, British Columbia. We calculated the proportion of individuals achieving at least 95% adherence in the year following initiation of ART from 1996 to 2009.
Among 682 individuals who initiated ART, the median age was 37 years (interquartile range 31-44 years) and 248 participants (36.4%) were female. The proportion achieving at least 95% adherence increased over time, from 19.3% in 1996 to 65.9% in 2009 (Cochrane-Armitage test for trend: P < 0.001). In a logistic regression model examining factors associated with 95% adherence, initiation year was statistically significant (odds ratio 1.08; 95% confidence interval 1.03-1.13; P < 0.001 per year after 1996) after adjustment for a range of drug use variables and other potential confounders.
The proportion of IDUs achieving at least 95% adherence during the first year of ART has consistently increased over a 13-year period. Although improved tolerability and convenience of modern ART regimens probably explain these positive trends, by the end of the study period a substantial proportion of IDUs still had suboptimal adherence, demonstrating the need for additional adherence support strategies.
Figures in this publication
Available from: Ryan McNeil
- "Poor HIV treatment outcomes among drug-using populations are driven by intersecting social determinants of health , including homelessness , stigma [8, 9] and drug law enforcement [10, 11]. Despite evidence suggesting that PLHIV who use drugs may benefit from HAART  and attain high levels of adherence , physicians in many jurisdictions do not initiate HAART with PLHIV who use drugs, with drug use and potential non-adherence often cited as justifications for denying treatment [14, 15]. Accordingly, PLHIV who use drugs suffer disproportionately from AIDS-related opportunistic illnesses  and premature mortality . "
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Improvements in the availability and effectiveness of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) have prolonged the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS. However, mortality rates have remained high among populations that encounter barriers to accessing and adhering to HAART, notably people who use drugs. This population consequently has a high burden of illness and complex palliative and supportive care needs, but is often unable to access these services due to anti-drug policies and discrimination. In Vancouver, Canada, the Dr. Peter Centre (DPC), which operates a 24-bed residential HIV/AIDS care facility, has sought to improve access to palliative and supportive care services by adopting a comprehensive harm reduction strategy, including supervised injection services. We undertook this study to explore how the integration of comprehensive harm reduction services into this setting shapes access to and engagement with care.
Qualitative interviews were conducted with 13 DPC residents between November 2010 and August 2011. Interviews made use of a semistructured interview guide which facilitated discussion regarding how the DPC Residence's model of care (a) shaped healthcare access, (b) influenced healthcare interactions and (c) impacted drug use practices and overall health. Interview transcripts were analysed thematically.
Participant accounts highlight how the harm reduction policy altered the structural-environmental context of healthcare services and thus mediated access to palliative and supportive care services. Furthermore, this approach fostered an atmosphere in which drug use could be discussed without the risk of punitive action, and thus increased openness between residents and staff. Finally, participants reported that the environmental supports provided by the DPC Residence decreased drug-related risks and improved health outcomes, including HAART adherence and survival.
This study highlights how adopting comprehensive harm reduction services can serve to improve access and equity in palliative and supportive care for drug-using populations.
Journal of the International AIDS Society 03/2014; 17(1):18855. DOI:10.7448/IAS.17.1.18855 · 5.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Patients' adherence to antiretroviral medications is a primary determinant of both the effectiveness of treatment and the clinical course of HIV/AIDS. This empirical review is intended to compare the relative importance of patient and treatment characteristics on nonadherence behavior and the impact of nonadherence on treatment failure. Articles cited in PubMed and published between 2006 and June 2008 (n = 200) were reviewed to select those that address patient or treatment characteristics associated with nonadherence. Twenty-two articles were selected that provided odds ratio or hazard ratio statistics that quantified predictors of patients' level of nonadherence (e.g., <80%, 80%-95% and >95%). Results were summarized using random effects meta-analytic models. Predictors of nonadherence were divided into four predictive clusters (clinical predictors, comorbid predictors, treatment competence predictors, and dosing predictors). The summary odds ratios (ORs) of nonadherence for each cluster (in order of strength) were treatment competence 2.0 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.6-2.6), clinical predictors 1.6 (95% CI: 1.4-1.8), comorbid predictors 1.6 (95% CI: 1.4-1.8), and dosing predictors 1.5 (95% CI: 1.3-1.7). The effect of nonadherence on treatment failure supported the findings of two prior empirical reviews (OR 2.0, 95% CI: 1.6-2.5). Within dosing predictors, a pill burden of more versus less than 10 pills per day was associated with a much higher odds of nonadherence than twice versus once daily dosing or small differences in the number of types of antiretroviral treatments in a regimen. These results provide insight into the relative importance of various determinants of patient nonadherence that may inform the design of patient educational initiatives and initiatives to simplify treatment regimens.
AIDS patient care and STDs 07/2009; 23(11):903-14. DOI:10.1089/apc.2009.0024 · 3.50 Impact Factor
Available from: Jennifer E Thorne
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Since the mid-1990s, effective antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimens have improved in potency, tolerability, ease of use, and class diversity. We sought to examine trends in treatment initiation and resulting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) virologic suppression in North America between 2001 and 2009, and demographic and geographic disparities in these outcomes.
We analyzed data on HIV-infected individuals newly clinically eligible for ART (ie, first reported CD4+ count<350 cells/µL or AIDS-defining illness, based on treatment guidelines during the study period) from 17 North American AIDS Cohort Collaboration on Research and Design cohorts. Outcomes included timely ART initiation (within 6 months of eligibility) and virologic suppression (≤500 copies/mL, within 1 year). We examined time trends and considered differences by geographic location, age, sex, transmission risk, race/ethnicity, CD4+ count, and viral load, and documented psychosocial barriers to ART initiation, including non-injection drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and mental illness.
Among 10,692 HIV-infected individuals, the cumulative incidence of 6-month ART initiation increased from 51% in 2001 to 72% in 2009 (Ptrend<.001). The cumulative incidence of 1-year virologic suppression increased from 55% to 81%, and among ART initiators, from 84% to 93% (both Ptrend<.001). A greater number of psychosocial barriers were associated with decreased ART initiation, but not virologic suppression once ART was initiated. We found significant heterogeneity by state or province of residence (P<.001).
In the last decade, timely ART initiation and virologic suppression have greatly improved in North America concurrent with the development of better-tolerated and more potent regimens, but significant barriers to treatment uptake remain, both at the individual level and systemwide.
Clinical Infectious Diseases 01/2013; 56(8). DOI:10.1093/cid/cit003 · 8.89 Impact Factor
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