Ongoing drug use and outcomes from highly active antiretroviral therapy among injection drug users in a Canadian setting
ABSTRACT The effect of ongoing illicit drug use on HIV treatment remains controversial, especially in countries where access to HIV treatment for active injection drug users (IDUs) is limited because of presumed non-adherence. We sought to investigate the influence of drug use patterns on adherence to antiretroviral therapy and virological suppression among IDUs.
Using generalized estimating equation logistic regression, we explored the effect of abstinence versus ongoing drug use on adherence and virological suppression using data from a community-recruited cohort of IDUs in Vancouver (BC, Canada).
A total of 381 HIV-positive IDUs were included in this analysis, among whom the median follow-up time was 30 months. In a multivariate model, no relationship was found between abstinence (reference) and active injection (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 0.88, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.65-1.17) and non-injection (AOR 0.97, 95% CI 0.67-1.41) drug use with adherence. In subanalyses, ongoing injection drug use was associated with a lower odds of virological suppression in comparison to abstinence (AOR 0.74, 95% CI 0.57-0.97; P=0.026) and both active IDUs and active non-IDUs had lower odds of virological suppression compared with abstinent participants when longer periods of virological suppression were considered.
Given the absence of a strong relationship between abstinence and ongoing drug use and adherence among HIV-positive IDUs, programmes that restrict antiretrovirals to abstinent individuals should be re-examined. The lower rates of virological suppression associated with ongoing drug use nevertheless highlight the importance of comprehensive systems of care and addiction treatment for active drug users.
- SourceAvailable from: Hasina Samji[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Informed by recent studies demonstrating the central role of plasma HIV-1 RNA viral load (VL) on HIV transmission, interventions to employ HIV antiretroviral treatment as prevention (TasP) are underway. To optimize these efforts, evidence is needed to identify factors associated with both non-suppressed VL and HIV risk behaviours. Thus, we sought to assess the possible role played by exposure to correctional facilities on VL non-suppression and used syringe lending among HIV-seropositive people who use injection drugs (PWID). We used data from the ACCESS study, a community-recruited prospective cohort. We used longitudinal multivariate mixed-effects analyses to estimate the relationship between incarceration and plasma HIV-1 RNA > 500 copies/mL among antiretroviral therapy (ART)-exposed active PWID and, during periods of non-suppression, the relationship between incarceration and used syringe lending. Between May 1996 and March 2012, 657 ART-exposed PWID were recruited. Incarceration was independently associated with higher odds of VL non-suppression (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR] = 1.54, 95% Confidence Interval [95% CI]: 1.10, 2.16). In a separate multivariate model restricted to periods of VL non-suppression, incarceration was independently associated with lending used syringes (AOR = 1.81, 95% CI: 1.03, 3.18). The current findings demonstrate that incarceration is associated with used syringe lending among active PWID with detectable plasma HIV-1 RNA. Our results provide a possible pathway for the commonly observed association between incarceration and increased risk of HIV transmission. Our results suggest that alternatives to incarceration of non-violent PWID and evidence-based combination HIV prevention interventions for PWID within correctional facilities are urgently needed.BMC Infectious Diseases 12/2013; 13(1):565. DOI:10.1186/1471-2334-13-565 · 2.56 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Food insecurity may be a barrier to achieving optimal HIV treatment-related outcomes among illicit drug users. This study therefore, aimed to assess the impact of severe food insecurity, or hunger, on plasma HIV RNA suppression among illicit drug users receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART). A cross-sectional Multivariate logistic regression model was used to assess the potential relationship between hunger and plasma HIV RNA suppression. A sample of n = 406 adults was derived from a community-recruited open prospective cohort of HIV-positive illicit drug users, in Vancouver, British Columbia (BC), Canada. A total of 235 (63.7%) reported "being hungry and unable to afford enough food," and 241 (59.4%) had plasma HIV RNA < 50 copies/ml. In unadjusted analyses, self-reported hunger was associated with lower odds of plasma HIV RNA suppression (Odds Ratio = 0.59, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.39-0.90, p = 0.015). In multivariate analyses, this association was no longer significant after controlling for socio-demographic, behavioral, and clinical characteristics, including 95% adherence (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR] = 0.65, 95% CI: 0.37-1.10, p = 0.105). Multivariate models stratified by 95% adherence found that the direction and magnitude of this association was not significantly altered by the adherence level. Hunger was common among illicit drug users in this setting. Although, there was an association between hunger and lower likelihood of plasma HIV RNA suppression, this did not persist in adjusted analyses. Further research is warranted to understand the social-structural, policy, and physical factors shaping the HIV outcomes of illicit drug users.AIDS Care 09/2013; DOI:10.1080/09540121.2013.832724 · 1.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Abstract Active drug use among HIV-infected persons is associated with poor adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and suboptimal treatment outcomes. To understand adherence experiences among HIV-infected drug users, we conducted semistructured interviews with 15 participants in a randomized controlled trial evaluating the efficacy of directly observed HAART delivered in methadone maintenance clinics. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and thematically analyzed. We identified negative and positive psychological themes associated with both drug use and adherence. Participants described tension between negative feelings (denial, shame, and perceived isolation) and positive feelings (acceptance, motivation, empowerment, and perceived connectedness), and they associated this tension with their own drug using and adherence behaviors. Sustained antiretroviral therapy adherence may require increased emphasis on understanding the psychological experience of HIV-infected drug users.AIDS Care 02/2013; 25(11). DOI:10.1080/09540121.2013.766303 · 1.60 Impact Factor