Among individuals receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), injection drug users (IDUs) are less likely to achieve HIV suppression. The present study examined individual-level, interpersonal, and structural factors associated with achieving undetectable plasma viral load (UVL) among US IDUs receiving recommended HAART. Data were from baseline assessments of the INSPIRE (Interventions for Seropositive Injectors-Research and Evaluation) study, a 4-site, secondary HIV prevention intervention for heterosexually active IDUs. Of 1113 study participants at baseline, 42% (n = 466) were currently taking recommended HAART (34% were female, 69% non-Hispanic black, 26% recently homeless; median age was 43 years), of whom 132 (28%) had a UVL. Logistic regression revealed that among those on recommended HAART, adjusted odds of UVL were at least 3 times higher among those with high social support, stable housing, and CD4 > 200; UVL was approximately 60% higher among those reporting better patient-provider communication. Outpatient drug treatment and non-Hispanic black race and an interaction between current drug use and social support were marginally negatively significant. Among those with high perceived support, noncurrent drug users compared with current drug users had a greater likelihood of UVL; current drug use was not associated with UVL among those with low support. Depressive symptoms (Brief Symptom Inventory) were not significant. Results suggest the major role of social support in facilitating effective HAART use in this population and suggest that active drug use may interfere with HAART use by adversely affecting social support. Interventions promoting social support functioning, patient-provider communication, stable housing, and drug abuse treatment may facilitate effective HAART use in this vulnerable population.
"Provision of HIV care to IDUs is challenging. Barriers to accessing care, including national drug policies and strategies that lead to marginalisation of IDUs (Rhodes et al. 2003; Wood et al. 2007), along with social instability and homelessness (Bassetti et al. 1999; Chander et al. 2006; Knowlton et al. 2006) and with patient (Bassetti et al. 1999; Kerr et al. 2005) or physician (Bassetti et al. 1999; Gross et al. 2002) reluctance to start ART "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives:
To identify factors influencing mortality in an HIV programme providing care to large numbers of injecting drug users (IDUs) and patients co-infected with hepatitis C (HCV).
A longitudinal analysis of monitoring data from HIV-infected adults who started antiretroviral therapy (ART) between 2003 and 2009 was performed. Mortality and programme attrition rates within 2 years of ART initiation were estimated. Associations with individual-level factors were assessed with multivariable Cox and piece-wise Cox regression.
A total of 1671 person-years of follow-up from 1014 individuals was analysed. Thirty-four percent of patients were women and 33% were current or ex-IDUs. 36.2% of patients (90.8% of IDUs) were co-infected with HCV. Two-year all-cause mortality rate was 5.4 per 100 person-years (95% CI, 4.4-6.7). Most HIV-related deaths occurred within 6 months of ART start (36, 67.9%), but only 5 (25.0%) non-HIV-related deaths were recorded during this period. Mortality was higher in older patients (HR = 2.50; 95% CI, 1.42-4.40 for ≥40 compared to 15-29 years), and in those with initial BMI < 18.5 kg/m(2) (HR = 3.38; 95% CI, 1.82-5.32), poor adherence to treatment (HR = 5.13; 95% CI, 2.47-10.65 during the second year of therapy), or low initial CD4 cell count (HR = 4.55; 95% CI, 1.54-13.41 for <100 compared to ≥100 cells/μl). Risk of death was not associated with IDU status (P = 0.38).
Increased mortality was associated with late presentation of patients. In this programme, death rates were similar regardless of injection drug exposure, supporting the notion that satisfactory treatment outcomes can be achieved when comprehensive care is provided to these patients.
Tropical Medicine & International Health 08/2012; 17(10). DOI:10.1111/j.1365-3156.2012.03056.x · 2.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Opioid substitution treatment seems to improve adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in drug users (DU). DU in Amsterdam receive methadone within a harm reduction programme. We hypothesized that not only receiving methadone, but joining this complete comprehensive programme would improve HAART adherence.
Included were 102 HIV-positive DU attending the Amsterdam Cohort Study (ACS), reporting HAART use at multiple visits between 1999 and 2009. Non-adherence was defined as taking less than 95% of medication in the past 6 months (self-reported). Harm reduction intensity (HR) was measured by combining injecting drug use, methadone dosage and needle exchange, in different levels of participation, ranging from no/incomplete HR, complete HR to low or no dependence on HR. We studied the association between non-adherence and harm reduction intensities with logistic regression models adjusted for repeated measurements.
Non-adherence was reported in 11.9% of ACS visits. Non-injecting DU with low dependence on HR were less adherent than DU with complete HR (aOR 1.78; CI 95% 1.00-3.16), although there was no overall effect of HR. No difference was demonstrated in adherence between DU with complete HR and incomplete HR. Unsupervised housing (no access to structural support at home) (aOR 2.58; CI 95% 1.40-4.73) and having a steady partner (aOR 0.48; CI 95% 0.24-0.96) were significantly associated with respectively more and less non-adherence.
In Amsterdam, still-injecting DU who are exposed to systematic and integrated care, although not practising complete harm reduction, can be just as adherent to HAART as DU who make use of complete harm reduction and non-injecting DU with no dependence on harm reduction. These findings suggest the importance of a systematic and comprehensive support system including supervised housing and social and medical support to increase HAART adherence rates amongst all HIV-infected DU. When such programmes are introduced in settings where injecting drug use is highly prevalent, access to HAART for drug users in these settings can and should be increased.
The International journal on drug policy 03/2011; 22(3):210-8. DOI:10.1016/j.drugpo.2011.02.004 · 2.54 Impact Factor
"The availability of effective therapy and the apparent clinical failure secondary to nonadherence practices especially among vulnerable populations call for a better understanding of how to improve adherence. Studies suggest that social and familial support can be crucial for increasing adherence (Arnsten et al., 2007; Beals, Wight, Aneshensel, Murphy, & Miller-Martinez, 2006; Fisher, Cornman, Norton, & Fisher, 2006; Knowlton et al., 2006; Mostashari, Riley, Selwyn, & Altice, 1998; Ogden, Esim, & Grown, 2006; Siegel, Raveis, & Karus, 1994; Siegel, Raveis, Houts, & Mor, 1991; Smith-Rohrberg, Mezger, Walton, Bruce, & Altice, 2006). Successful collaboration between patients and their caregivers, which is likely to provide that social support, involves an understanding of the medical perceptions of the different participants but these latter have been insufficiently described in the literature. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Even with advances in the medical management of HIV/AIDS, it remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality. Network members are a source of support and may be designated as the patient's surrogate therapeutic decision maker. However, little is known about the role of caregivers regarding highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) and adherence to medication, especially among low income and medically underserved HIV-infected individuals. The objective of this analysis was to explore patients and their caregivers' understanding, insight, and perceptions of HAART. This was a qualitative study conducted in an urban teaching hospital in the Bronx, NY, consisting of 144 adults with advanced HIV/AIDS and their informal/familial caregivers. Patients and caregivers completed in-depth interviews and brief questionnaires. The data were analyzed using standard qualitative techniques. Themes related to HAART efficacy, side effects, and adherence were identified in the discussions with both patients and their care providers. Looking for consistencies and discordant reports of patients-caregivers dyadic experience with HAART and their association with healthcare sentiment, it was found that the accounts of both members of the dyad were more likely to reflect positive feelings about the patient's healthcare experience when they shared perceptions about the treatment, and were more likely to have a negative viewpoint when the dyad was discordant about treatment. These findings support the importance for HIV healthcare providers to include both patients and their caregivers in discussions about HAART, in order to improve their understanding of and satisfaction with the medication, and, to ultimately contribute to patients' adherence. The study also suggests that healthcare teams may enhance dialog with patients and caregivers to create therapeutic decisions to accommodate the priorities and values of the patient and their family. Clinical, educational, and evaluating tools need to be further developed and evaluation to facilitate this process.
AIDS Care 12/2009; 21(12):1528-36. DOI:10.1080/09540120902923113 · 1.60 Impact Factor
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