Intentional Non-Adherence to Medications among HIV Positive Alcohol Drinkers: Prospective Study of Interactive Toxicity Beliefs
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence is key to successful treatment of HIV infection and alcohol is a known barrier to adherence. Beyond intoxication, ART adherence is impacted by beliefs that mixing alcohol and medications is toxic. PURPOSE: To examine prospective relationships of factors contributing to intentional medication non-adherence when drinking. METHODS: People who both receive ART and drink alcohol (N = 178) were enrolled in a 12-month prospective cohort study that monitored beliefs about the hazards of mixing ART with alcohol (interactive toxicity beliefs), alcohol consumption using electronic daily diaries, ART adherence assessed by both unannounced pill counts and self-report, and chart-abstracted HIV viral load. RESULTS: Participants who reported skipping or stopping their ART when drinking (N = 90, 51 %) demonstrated significantly poorer ART adherence, were less likely to be viral suppressed, and more likely to have CD4 counts under 200/cc(3). Day-level analyses showed that participants who endorsed interactive toxicity beliefs were significantly more likely to miss medications on drinking days. CONCLUSIONS: Confirming earlier cross-sectional studies, the current findings from a prospective cohort show that a substantial number of people intentionally skip or stop their medications when drinking. Interventions are needed to correct alcohol-related interactive toxicity misinformation and promote adherence among alcohol drinkers.
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ABSTRACT: Background Alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are a frequent comorbidity in a large percentage of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). PLWHA with comorbid AUDs are consistently found to perform poorly at most levels of the HIV treatment cascade, resulting in a higher likelihood of virologic nonsuppression. This has been partly attributed to lower rates of persistence with and adherence to antiretroviral therapies (ART). Focus groups of in-care PLWHA identify the need to suspend ART on drinking days because of the potential for toxicity and/or lack of therapeutic effectiveness. The aim of this study was to examine whether chronic binge alcohol (CBA) consumption decreases the effectiveness of uninterrupted ART, specifically that of nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI) tenofovir and emtricitabine in suppressing viral replication, or results in drug toxicity in simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected rhesus macaques.Methods Daily CBA or isocaloric sucrose (SUC) administration was initiated 3 months prior to intrarectal SIVmac251 inoculation and continued throughout the study period. ART was initiated 2.5 months after SIV infection and continued through the study period.ResultsCBA administration did not prevent or delay the ART-mediated reduction in viral load. Following ART, circulating levels of total protein and creatinine were significantly higher than baseline values in both SUC- and CBA-treated animals, but still within a normal range. No evidence of ART toxicity was observed in either CBA- or SUC-administered macaques.Conclusions These findings indicate that CBA does not attenuate effectiveness of NRTI suppression of viral load, nor does it appear to interact with NRTI to produce toxicity during the initial 2 months of treatment. We conclude that while efforts to reduce AUD in PLWHA should be a priority, counseling on the importance of adherence to ART even on drinking days should also be promoted.Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research 09/2014; 38(9). DOI:10.1111/acer.12507 · 3.31 Impact Factor
18th ESPACOMP Annual Meeting, Lausanne (Switzerland); 11/2014
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ABSTRACT: Findings on the relationship between health literacy and outcomes in HIV have been inconsistent. Health literacy has previously been operationalized as general functional literacy, but has not included content knowledge about HIV disease and treatment. Semi-structured interviews with people living with HIV in 2 U.S. cities, including questions about the etiology, pathophysiology and treatment of HIV. We compared responses to biomedical conceptions. The 32 respondents were demographically diverse. Although most understood that HIV degrades the immune system, none could explain the nature of a virus, or the mechanism of antiretroviral (ARV) drug action. Fewer than half accurately reported that it is desirable to have a high CD4+ cell count and low viral load. A minority understood the concept of drug resistance. While most believed that strict adherence to ARV regimens was important to maintain health, three believed that periodic treatment interruption was beneficial, and three believed they should not take ARVs when they used alcohol or illicit drugs. Respondents generally had very limited, and often inaccurate biomedical understanding of HIV disease. Most reported good regimen adherence but did not have any mechanistic rationale for it. The failure to find a consistent relationship between health literacy and ARV adherence may be largely because most people simply follow their doctors' instructions, without the need for deep understanding.AIDS and Behavior 10/2014; DOI:10.1007/s10461-014-0931-8 · 3.49 Impact Factor