Intimate partner violence (IPV), HIV/AIDS, and substance use are epidemics among low-income urban women that have been described together as the "SAVA syndemic" because of their co-occurring nature. This study examines the synergistic or "syndemic" effect of these three health issues on depression among urban women and evaluates social support as a protective factor that might reduce depressive symptoms associated with the Substance Abuse, Violence, and AIDS (SAVA) syndemic. Data from 445 urban women were collected through in-person interviews. All women were over the age of 18, not pregnant, English speaking, and reported having a main partner in the past year. Twenty-five percent had experienced all three factors of the SAVA syndemic (were HIV-positive, had experienced IPV in the past year, and had used cocaine or heroin in their lifetime). HIV-positive status, hard drug use, IPV, and low levels of social support were all individually associated with greater depressive symptoms. When controlling for demographics and other SAVA factors, IPV and hard drug use in the past 30 days remained associated with depressive symptoms, as did low social support. However, social support did not modify the effect of the SAVA factors on depression. Compared to women who experienced no SAVA factors, women who had experienced all three factors were 6.77 times more likely to have depressive symptoms. These findings confirm that IPV is significantly associated with depressive symptoms and that the syndemic impact of IPV, substance use, and HIV could have even more extreme effects on depression outcomes.
"Although a growing number of studies have examined various components of the SAVA Syndemic in the United States (e.g., Feingold, 2009; Gonzalez- Guarda, Florom-Smith, & Thomas, 2011; Illangasekare et al., 2013; Meyer et al., 2011; Senn et al., 2010), studies examining the synergistic interrelatedness of substance use, violence, and HIV risk behavior have rarely been conducted cross-nationally or in developing nations such as El Salvador. As such, this study examines the behavioral and psychosocial profiles of high-risk youth in El Salvador and in the United States in terms of youth involvement in a variety of behaviors in the domains of substance use, violence, and HIV risk behavior. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies examining the SAVA Syndemic—that is, the synergistic links between substance use, violence, and HIV risk behavior—have rarely been conducted cross-nationally. Using samples of high-risk youth in San Salvador, El Salvador (n = 237) and western Pennsylvania, United States (n = 253), latent class analysis is employed to identify behavioral subgroups of youth. Subgroups of “SAVA Youth” characterized by universally elevated levels of substance use, violence, and HIV risk behavior were identified in both El Salvador (20%) and the United States (42%). Membership in these behaviorally severe subgroups was associated with extremely high levels of severe violence exposure
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The concept of psychological distress includes a range of emotional states with symptoms of depression and anxiety and has yet to be reported in HIV-positive women living in Ontario, Canada, who are known to live with contributing factors. This study aimed to determine the prevalence, severity, and correlates of psychological distress among women accessing HIV care participating in the Ontario HIV Treatment Network Cohort Study using the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10). The K10 is a 10-item, five-level response scale. K10 values range from 10 to 50 with values less than or equal to 19 categorized as not clinically significant, scores between 20 and 24 as moderate levels, 25-29 as high, and 30-50 as very high psychological distress. Correlates of psychological distress were assessed using the Pearson's chi-square test and univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis. Moderate, high, and very high levels of psychological distress were experienced by 16.9, 10.4, and 15.1% of the 337 women in our cohort, respectively, with 57.6% reporting none. Psychological distress levels greater than 19, correlated with being unemployed (vs. employed/student/retired; AOR = 0.33, 95% CI: 0.13-0.83), living in a household without their child/children (AOR = 2.45, 95% CI: 1.33-4.52), CD4 counts < 200 cells/mm(3) (AOR = 2.07, 95% CI: 0.89-4.80), and to a lesser degree an education of some college or less (vs. completed college or higher; AOR=1.71, 95% CI: 0.99-2.95). Age and ethnicity, a priori variables of interest, did not correlate with psychological distress. Findings suggest that socioeconomic factors which shape the demography of women living with HIV in Ontario, low CD4 counts, and losing the opportunity to care for their child/children has a significant relationship with psychological distress. Approaches to manage psychological distress should address and make considerations for the lived experiences of women since they can act as potential barriers to improving psychological well-being.
AIDS Care 11/2013; 26(6). DOI:10.1080/09540121.2013.855301 · 1.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Gender-based violence (GBV) is common among women with and at risk for HIV, yet little is known about the GBV associated psychological factors that could be modifiable through behavioral interventions. The current study examined the associations between some of these psychological factors (i.e., hopelessness, consideration of future consequences, self esteem), mental health symptoms, substance abuse, and GBV among a sample of 736 HIV-infected and sociodemographically similar uninfected participants in the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS). Results indicated high rates of lifetime GBV among the sample (58%), as well as high rates of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) (22.2%). HIV-infected women were more likely to be hopeless and to experience lower consideration of future consequences as compared to uninfected women. Multivariable analysis indicated that current non-injection drug use and a history of injection drug use were the main correlates of GBV and CSA, even when other psychosocial variables were included in analytic models. Being born outside of the US reduced the likelihood of GBV and CSA. Future research directions and intervention implications are discussed.
AIDS patient care and STDs 04/2014; 28(5). DOI:10.1089/apc.2013.0342 · 3.50 Impact Factor
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