The methamphetamine epidemic: Implications for HIV prevention and treatment
ABSTRACT Methamphetamine and related amphetamine compounds are among the most commonly used illicit drugs, with over 35 million users worldwide. In the United States, admissions for methamphetamine treatment have increased dramatically over the past 10 years. Methamphetamine use is prevalent among persons with HIV infection and persons at risk for HIV, particularly among men who have sex with men. In addition to being associated with increased sexual risk behavior, methamphetamine causes significant medical morbidity, including neurologic deficits, cardiovascular compromise, dental decay, and skin infections, all of which may be worsened in the presence of HIV/AIDS. Methamphetamine use may also result in decreased medication adherence, particularly during "binging" episodes. Behavioral counseling remains the standard of treatment for methamphetamine dependence, although the effectiveness of most counseling interventions has not been rigorously tested. Pharmacologic and structural interventions may prove valuable additional interventions to reduce methamphetamine use.
Journal of Groups in Addiction & Recovery 02/2014; 9(1):54-70. DOI:10.1080/1556035X.2014.868724
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ABSTRACT: Men who have sex with men (MSM) who use crystal methamphetamine (CM) are at increased risk for HIV infection. Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is a useful HIV prevention strategy if individuals are able to identify high-risk exposures and seek timely care, however to date there has been limited data on the use of PEP by CM users. Retrospective cohort study of all PEP prescriptions (N=1130 prescriptions among 788 MSM) at Fenway Community Health in Boston, MA was undertaken. Multivariable models were used to assess the association between CM use during exposure (7.4% used CM during exposure) and chronically (7.4% of MSM were chronic CM users) and individual-level and event-level outcomes among MSM who used PEP at least once. Compared to those who had not used CM, MSM PEP users who used CM more frequently returned for repeat PEP (aOR 5.13, 95% CI 2.82 to 9.34) and were significantly more likely to seroconvert over the follow-up period (aHR 3.61, 95% CI 1.51 to 8.60). MSM who used CM had increased odds of unprotected anal intercourse as the source of exposure (aOR 2.12, 95% CI 1.16 to 3.87) and knowing that their partner was HIV infected (aOR 2.27, 95% CI 1.42 to 3.64). While MSM who use CM may have challenges accessing ART in general, these data highlight the fact that those who were able to access PEP subsequently remained at increased risk of HIV seroconversion. Counseling and/or substance use interventions during the PEP course should be considered for CM-using MSM. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.Drug and Alcohol Dependence 11/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2014.11.010 · 3.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The prevalence of methamphetamine (METH) use is estimated at ~35 million people worldwide, with over 10 million users in the United States. METH use elicits a myriad of social consequences and the behavioral impact of the drug is well understood. However, new information has recently emerged detailing the devastating effects of METH on host immunity, increasing the acquisition of diverse pathogens and exacerbating the severity of disease. These outcomes manifest as modifications in protective physical and chemical defenses, pro-inflammatory responses, and the induction of oxidative stress pathways. Through these processes, significant neurotoxicities arise, and, as such, chronic abusers with these conditions are at a higher risk for heightened consequences. METH use also influences the adaptive immune response, permitting the unrestrained development of opportunistic diseases. In this review, we discuss recent literature addressing the impact of METH on infection and immunity, and identify areas ripe for future investigation.Frontiers in Neuroscience 01/2014; 8:445. DOI:10.3389/fnins.2014.00445