Impact of HIV testing on uptake of HIV therapy among antiretroviral naive HIV-infected injection drug users
ABSTRACT Improving access to antiretroviral therapy among injection drug users remains an urgent public health concern. We examined the time to antiretroviral therapy (ART) use among antiretroviral naive HIV-infected injection drug users who were unaware of their HIV status to examine the impact of receipt of HIV test results on uptake of ART. Time to ART use was examined using Kaplan - Meier methods, and factors associated with the time to ART were evaluated using Cox proportional hazards regression. Between May 1996 and May 2003, 312 HIV-infected individuals were enrolled into the Barriers to Antiretroviral Therapy (BART) cohort, among whom 105 (33.7%) reported not knowing their HIV status at baseline. At 24 months post-baseline, those participants who returned for test results within 8 months initiated ART at a significantly elevated rate [adjusted relative hazard = 1.87 (95% CI: 1.05 - 3.33)]. These findings demonstrate the potential to improve uptake of ART among injection drug users through targeted HIV testing and counselling initiatives that encourage the receipt of HIV test results, and suggest that strategies to improve awareness of HIV infection may improve access to antiretroviral therapy.
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ABSTRACT: People who inject drugs (IDU) face unique systemic, social and individual barriers to conventional HIV voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) programmes. Peer-delivered approaches represent a possible alternative to improve rates of testing among this population. Cross-sectional data from a prospective cohort of IDU in Vancouver, Canada, were collected between December 2011 and May 2012. Bivariate statistics and multivariate logistic regression were used to identify the prevalence of and factors associated with willingness to receive peer-delivered VCT. Of 600 individuals, 51.5% indicated willingness to receive peer-delivered pretest counselling, 40.7% to receive peer-delivered rapid HIV testing and 42.8% to receive peer-delivered post-test counselling. Multivariate analyses found significant positive associations between willingness for pretest counselling and having used Vancouver's supervised injection facility, Insite, or being a member of VANDU (a local drug user organisation) (all p<0.05). Daily crack smoking and having used Insite were positively associated with willingness to receive peer-delivered HIV testing (p<0.05). Willingness to receive peer-delivered post-test counselling was positively associated with male gender, daily crack smoking, having used Insite and being a member of VANDU (p<0.05). While not universally acceptable, peer-delivered VCT approaches may improve access to HIV testing among IDU.Journal of epidemiology and community health 04/2014; 68(7). DOI:10.1136/jech-2013-203707 · 3.29 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Peer-based models for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing have been implemented to increase access to testing in various settings. However, little is known about the acceptability of peer-delivered testing and counseling among people who inject drugs (IDU). During July and October 2011, data derived from the Mitsampan Community Research Project were used to construct three multivariate logistic regression models identifying factors associated with willingness to receive peer-delivered pre-test counseling, rapid HIV testing, and post-test counseling. Among a total of 348 IDU, 44, 38, and 36 % were willing to receive peer-delivered pre-test counseling, rapid HIV testing, and post-test counseling, respectively. In multivariate analyses, factors associated with willingness to access peer-delivered pre-test counseling included: male gender (adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 0.48), higher than secondary education (AOR = 1.91), and binge drug use (AOR = 2.29) (all p < 0.05). Factors associated with willingness to access peer-delivered rapid HIV testing included: higher than secondary education (AOR = 2.06), binge drug use (AOR = 2.23), incarceration (AOR = 2.68), avoiding HIV testing (AOR = 0.24), and having been to the Mitsampan Harm Reduction Center (AOR = 1.63) (all p < 0.05). Lastly, binge drug use (AOR = 2.40), incarceration (AOR = 1.94), and avoiding HIV testing (AOR = 0.23) (all p < 0.05) were significantly associated with willingness to access peer-delivered post-test counseling. We found that a substantial proportion of Thai IDU were willing to receive peer-delivered HIV testing and counseling. These findings highlight the potential of peer-delivered testing to complement existing HIV testing programs that serve IDU.Journal of Community Health 11/2012; 38(3). DOI:10.1007/s10900-012-9635-z · 1.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We characterized temporal trends in highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) initiation (1996-2008) among treatment-eligible persons in a community-based cohort of current and former injection drug users (IDUs) in Baltimore, Maryland. The AIDS Linked to the IntraVenous Experience (ALIVE) cohort has been observing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive IDUs since 1988. HAART eligibility was defined as the first visit after 1 January 1996 at which the patient's CD4(+) cell count was <350 cells/microL. Temporal trends and predictors of HAART initiation were examined using chi(2) tests for trend and lognormal survival models. The median age of 582 HAART-eligible IDUs was 41 years; 75% of the subjects were male, 97% were African American, and 60% were active IDUs. Of these 582 individuals, 345 initiated HAART over 1803 person-years (19.2 subjects per 100 person-years; 95% confidence interval, 17.2-21.3 subjects per 100 person-years); there was no statistically significant temporal trend in HAART initiation. Independent predictors of delayed initiation included heavy injection drug use; having a prior AIDS diagnosis, having a lower CD4(+) cell count, having a usual source of care, and having health insurance were predictors of more-rapid initiation. The delay between eligibility and initiation decreased among those who became eligible most recently (2003-2007), compared with those in earlier periods (1996-2002); however, a substantial number of patients who became eligible in recent years either initiated HAART after a substantial delay or did not initiate HAART at all. We failed to observe substantial improvement in HAART initiation among current and former IDUs over a 12-year period; heavy use of injection drugs remains the major barrier to HAART initiation and to consistent HIV care. The fact that many IDUs initiate HAART after a significant delay or do not initiate it at all raises concern that disparities in HIV care for IDUs remain at a time of simplified antiretroviral regimens and increasing adoption of earlier treatment.Clinical Infectious Diseases 06/2010; 50(12):1664-71. DOI:10.1086/652867 · 9.42 Impact Factor