Due to advances made in HIV treatment, the population of individuals with HIV over the age of 50 is growing. Aging women face many developmental challenges and some of these challenges, including having or maintaining intimate partner relationships, may be particularly pronounced for aging women living with HIV. However, research exploring the psychosocial needs of aging women with HIV is limited. Thus, the aim of this study was to explore factors that impact intimate partner relationships for older women with HIV. Nineteen women (mean age=56.79, SD=4.63 years) referred from Boston-area community organizations and hospitals completed in-depth individual interviews. Forty-seven percent of participants identified themselves as Black/African American, and 37% as White/Caucasian. Average time since diagnosis was 16.32 years (SD=5.70). Interviews continued until saturation of content was reached. Inclusion criteria included: biologically born female; aged 50 years or older; diagnosis of HIV/AIDS; and English speaking. Qualitative interviews were coded by two raters and content analyses were conducted using NVivo 9 software. The findings are described across the following three main themes: (1) stigma; (2) body image concerns; and (3) the disclosure dilemma. The themes and issues identified by this study may help guide sexual health-related interventions for older HIV-infected women.
Understanding situations that increase HIV risk among men who have sex with men (MSM) requires consideration of the context in which risky behaviors occur. Relationships are one such context. This study examines the presence and predictors of unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) in the past 3 months among 566 MSM couples. A majority of couples allowed sex with outside partners. Overall, 65% of the sample engaged in UAI with primary partner, including nearly half of discordant couples. Positive relationship factors, such as attachment and intimacy, were associated with an increased likelihood of UAI with primary partner. Meanwhile, 22% of the sample engaged in at least one episode of UAI with an outside partner, half of whom were discordant or unknown HIV status outside partners. Higher levels of HIV-specific social support, equality, and sexual agreement investment were significantly associated with a decreased likelihood of engaging in UAI with a discordant or unknown HIV status outside partner. HIV-positive men in discordant relationships had two and one half times the odds of having UAI with a discordant or unknown HIV status outside partner as their HIV-negative partners. Many MSM in relationships, including some in serodiscordant ones, engage in UAI with primary partners. Potential explanations include relationship closeness, relationship length, and agreement type. In addition, relationship context appears to have a differential impact upon UAI with primary and outside partners, implying that prevention messages may need to be tailored for different types of couples. Prevention efforts involving MSM couples must take into account relationship characteristics as couples balance safer sex and HIV risk with intimacy and pleasure.
Little research has examined gender differences in reporting of condom use, which is the goal of our analysis. A baseline study was conducted in two urban clinics and we examined data from sexually active clients entering HIV care who enrolled in a prospective longitudinal cohort study. The primary outcome was consistent condom use and determinant variables were demographics, physical health and immune status, economic well-being, relationship characteristics, psychosocial functioning, and self-efficacy. Of 280 participants, 129 were males and 151 females, and 41.7% had at least some secondary education; 60.7% did not always use condoms. Nearly half (48.1%) of men reported always using condoms compared to 31.8% of females. In bivariate analyses, men who consistently use condoms were more likely to be working, have a primary partner who was HIV negative, to have disclosed their HIV status to their primary partner, and to have higher general self-efficacy and condom use self-efficacy compared to men who did not always use condoms. Higher general self-efficacy and condom use self-efficacy were the only variables associated with reported consistent condom use among women. In regression analysis, working in the last 7 days, general self efficacy, and condom use self-efficacy were associated with consistent condom use among men. These findings reveal low rates of consistent condom use among people living with HIV, and a gender difference with men more likely to report consistent condom use. These data suggest the need for gender sensitive prevention programs and strategies, including programs that can provide women with greater control and self-efficacy regarding use of protective methods.
Mental health problems are highly prevalent among individuals with HIV and are consistently associated with negative health outcomes. However, mental illness often remains untreated due to significant psychosocial and physical barriers to treatment participation. The Collaborative HIV/AIDS Mental Health Program (CHAMP) assessed the outcomes associated with providing 9 months of in-home mental health counseling for 40 individuals with HIV and a Major Axis I mental disorder. The evidence-based Illness Management and Recovery Model was adapted for use with HIV-positive individuals for the study using a community-based participatory research approach. Study participants were surveyed at baseline, 5 and 9 months to assess for changes in health outcomes. Thirty-five percent of study participants were female, 80% African American, 33% self-identified as MSM and the average participant age was 43. Forty percent of participants were on psychotropic medication at baseline. Participants had an average of 8 counseling visits (median 9). Statistically significant decreases in the global Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) score and a number of BSI symptoms dimensions including anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive, phobic anxiety and hostility were detected, indicating a reduction of psychiatric symptoms. Statistically significant improvement was also identified for the SF-12 mental health scale, adaptive coping, overall social support and emotional support. No differences in psychiatric outcomes were identified by gender, race/ethnicity, or sexual preference. Findings from the CHAMP Study suggest that the use of in-home mental health treatment may be beneficial in engaging and treating HIV-positive individuals with comorbid mental health disorders.
Crystal methamphetamine use is a major driver behind high-risk sexual behavior among men who have sex with men (MSM). Prior work suggests a cycle of continued crystal methamphetamine use and high-risk sex due to loss of the ability to enjoy other activities, which appears to be a side effect of this drug. Behavioral activation (BA) is a treatment for depression that involves learning to reengage in life's activities. We evaluated a novel intervention for crystal methamphetamine abuse and high-risk sex in MSM, incorporating 10 sessions of BA with integrated HIV risk reduction counseling (RR). Forty-four subjects were screened, of whom 21 met initial entry criteria. A total of 19 participants enrolled; 16 completed an open-phase study of the intervention. Behavioral assessments were conducted at baseline, 3 months postbaseline, and 6 months postbaseline. Linear mixed effects regression models were fit to assess change over time. Mean unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) episodes decreased significantly from baseline to acute postintervention (β=−4.86; 95% confidence interval [CI]=−7.48, −2.24; p=0.0015) and from baseline to 6 months postbaseline (β=−5.07; 95% CI=−7.85, −2.29; p=0.0017; test of fixed effects χ2=16.59; df=2,13; p=0.0002). On average, there was a significant decrease over time in the number of crystal methamphetamine episodes in the past 3 months (χ2=22.43; df=2,15; p<0.0001), and the number of days of crystal methamphetamine use in the past 30 days (χ2=9.21; df=2,15; p=0.010). Statistically significant reductions in depressive symptoms and poly-substance use were also maintained. Adding behavioral activation to risk reduction counseling for MSM with problematic crystal methamphetamine use may augment the potency of a risk reduction intervention for this population. Due to the small sample size and time intensive intervention, future testing in a randomized design is necessary to determine efficacy, with subsequent effectiveness testing.
People living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) suffer increased depression prevalence compared to the general population, which negatively impacts antiretroviral (ART) adherence and HIV-related outcomes leading to morbidity and mortality. Yet depression in this population often goes undiagnosed and untreated. The current project sought to design an evidence-based approach to integrate depression care in HIV clinics. The model chosen, measurement-based care (MBC), is based on existing guidelines and the largest randomized trial of depression treatment. MBC was adapted to clinical realities of HIV care for use in a randomized controlled effectiveness trial of depression management at three academic HIV clinics. The adaptation accounts for drug–drug interactions critical to ongoing ART effectiveness and can be delivered by a multidisciplinary team of nonmental health providers. A treatment algorithm was developed that enables clinically supervised, nonphysician depression care managers (DCMs) to track and monitor antidepressant tolerability and treatment response while supporting nonpsychiatric prescribers with antidepressant choice and dosing. Quality of care is ensured through weekly supervision of DCMs by psychiatrists. Key areas of flexibility that have been important in implementation have included flexibility in timing of assessments, accommodation of divergence between algorithm recommendations and provider decisions, and accommodation of delays in implementing treatment plans. This adaptation of the MBC model to HIV care has accounted for critical antidepressant-antiretroviral interactions and facilitated the provision of quality antidepressant management within the HIV medical home.
The HIV/AIDS surveillance data indicates that the proportion of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) who were 50 years old or older increased to 42.7% in 2011 from 16.5% in 2007 in Nanning, the capital city of Guangxi Province. A greater number of newly diagnosed HIV cases compared to clinical AIDS cases were identified from older adults. The dominant HIV transmission mode among older PLWHAs was heterosexual although approximately 30% of all PLWHAs acquired HIV through heterosexual contacts.
Modest or even occasional nonadherence to combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) can result in adverse clinical outcomes. African Americans demonstrate lower rates of adherence than Caucasians or Latinos. Identifying factors that influence medication adherence among African Americans is a critical step toward reducing HIV/AIDS disease progression and mortality. In a sample of 181 African American (n=144) and Caucasian (n=37) HIV-positive drug-using individuals [age (M=42.31; SD=6.6) education (M=13.41; SD=2.1)], we examined the influence of baseline drug use, literacy, neurocognition, depression, treatment-specific social support, and patient satisfaction with health care provider on medication adherence averaged over the course of 6 months (study dates 2002–2006). Our findings suggest differential baseline predictors of medication adherence for African Americans and Caucasians, such that patient satisfaction with provider was the strongest predictor of follow-up medication adherence for African Americans whereas for Caucasians depressive symptoms and treatment-specific social support were predictive of medication adherence (after controlling for duration of drug use).
As a first step in understanding the role that health care providers may play in observed gender disparities in HIV care in the United States, we sought to examine whether HIV providers' perceptions of and attitudes toward female and male patients differ. We used data from the Enhancing Communication to Improve HIV Outcomes (ECHO) study, a multisite, cross-sectional study focused on the role of the patient–provider relationship in disparities in HIV care conducted from October 2006 to June 2007. Using separate scales, we assessed HIV providers' perceptions about their patients (e.g., intelligence, compliance, responsibility) as well as providers' attitudes toward their patients (e.g., like, respect, frustrate). We used multivariable linear regression with generalized estimating equations to compare provider scores for female and male patients. Our sample comprised 37 HIV providers and 317 patients. Compared with male patients, HIV-infected females were less likely to be highly educated or employed, and more likely to report nonadherence to antiretroviral medications and depressive symptoms. In unadjusted and adjusted analyses, there was a significant difference in providers' perceptions of female and male patients, with providers having more negative perceptions of female patients. However, there was no significant difference in HIV providers' attitudes toward female and male patients in unadjusted or adjusted analyses. Further study is needed to elucidate the role of providers' perceptions and attitudes about female and male patients in observed gender disparities in HIV care.
Indian truck drivers and their younger apprentice drivers are at increased risk of HIV infection. We determine network and risk practices associated with willingness to adopt HIV prevention interventions currently not being used in India: rapid HIV testing, circumcision, and preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in order to inform the National AIDS Control Program (NACP). Truck drivers and truck cleaners were systematically recruited to participate in a social network and risk survey in Hyderabad, Southern India. Three separate composite measures of acceptability of rapid HIV testing, circumcision, and PrEP acceptability were utilized to independently assess the relationship of these prevention interventions with risk-practices and social network characteristics. An 89% participation rate yielded 1602 truck drivers and truck cleaners with 54.2% younger than 30 years of age and 2.8% HIV infected. Twenty-five percent of respondents reported sex with female sex workers (FSW) and 5% with men (MSM). Rapid testing, circumcision, and PrEP acceptability were 97.4%, 9.1%, and 85.9%, respectively. Participants reporting prosocial network characteristics were more accepting of rapid testing (adjusted odds ratio [AORs] 3.07–6.71; p<0.05) and demonstrated variable PrEP acceptability (AORs 0.08–2.22; p<0.001). Sex with FSWs was associated with PrEP acceptability (AOR 4.27; p<0.001); sex with MSM was associated with circumcision acceptability only (AOR 2.66; p<0.01). Social network factors and risk-practices were associated with novel prevention acceptability, but not consistently across intervention type and with variable directionality. The NACP will need to consider that intervention uptake may likely be most successful when efforts are targeted to individuals with specific behavior and social network characteristics.
Observational studies have examined the prevalence and impact of internalized stigma among African American women living with HIV, but there are no intervention studies investigating stigma reduction strategies in this population. Based on qualitative data previously collected, we adapted the International Center for Research on Women's HIV Stigma Toolkit for a domestic population of African American women to be consistent with Corrigan's principles of strategic stigma change. We implemented the intervention, led by an African American woman living with HIV, as a workshop across two afternoons. The participants discussed issues “triggered” by videos produced specifically for this purpose, learned coping mechanisms from each other, and practiced them in role plays with each other. We pilot tested the intervention with two groups of women (total N=24), measuring change in internalized stigma with the Stigma Scale for Chronic Illness before and after workshop participation. Sixty-two percent of the participants self-reported acquiring HIV through heterosexual sexual contact, 17% through intravenous drug use, 4% in utero, and 13% did not know the route of transmission. The intervention was feasible, enthusiastically accepted by the women, and led to decreased stigma from the start of the workshop to the end (p=0.05) and 1 week after (p=0.07) the last session of workshop. Findings suggest the intervention warrants further investigation.
For children affected by AIDS, one psychological challenge is whether or how to disclose their parents' HIV status to others (secondary disclosure). The current study, utilizing data from 962 rural children affected by AIDS in central China, examines children's perceptions regarding secondary disclosure (intention of disclosure, openness, and negative feelings) and their association with children's demographic and psychosocial factors. The findings indicated that a high proportion of children preferred not to disclose parental HIV status to others, would not like to tell the truth to others in the situations of having to talk about parental HIV, and also had strong negative feelings about the disclosure. The study findings confirmed that keeping secrecy of parental HIV infection was associated with higher level of negative psychological outcomes (e.g., depression, loneliness, perceived stigma, and enacted stigma), and children's age was strongly associated with both their perceptions of secondary disclosure and psychological measures.
Morphologic alterations in body composition are common among HIV-infected individuals, and these changes are associated with increased appearance concerns. Previous cross-sectional data indicate that appearance concerns among HIV-infected individuals are related to increased levels of psychological distress. However, to date, no known prospective data have been published on these relationships. The purpose of the current study was to address the temporal prediction of appearance concerns on depression and anxiety severity. Data were culled from a prospective, randomized controlled trial of cognitive behavioral therapy for depression and medication adherence in individuals with a history of injection drug use (IDU). Participants were 89 HIV-infected individuals who were randomized to either a cognitive behavioral therapy or treatment as usual condition. Linear mixed-level modeling revealed elevated levels of appearance concerns were prospectively related to increased depression and anxiety, as rated by both clinician-administered and self-report measures. Appearance concerns among depressed, IDU, HIV-infected individuals are associated with changes in psychological distress. Psychosocial interventions should consider the role of appearance as it relates to psychological functioning.
Health care utilization for HIV-1–infected patients appears to be declining in the United States as a result of highly active antiviral therapy (HAART); yet the opposite appears true in the HIV/hepatitis C virus (HCV) coinfected population. The reasons for this difference are not well understood. We examined the rates and reasons for emergency department visits and hospital admissions at an academic tertiary care medical center for HIV/HCV coinfected patients as compared to HIV-1 monoinfected patients, using a retrospective matched cohort study design. HIV/HCV coinfected patients had higher rates of health care utilization (emergency department visits 43.9 versus 7.1 per 100 person-years; hospital admissions 18.2 versus 6.7 per 100 person-years, for HIV coinfected and monoinfected, respectively). This increase was not solely due to liver related events. Instead, comorbidities such as diabetes, renal disease, and psychiatric/substance abuse played a larger role in the health-care utilization in the HIV/HCV coinfected population.
Despite extensive prevention efforts, an estimated 21% of individuals with HIV/AIDS in the United States are unaware of their status, placing them at greater risk for spreading the virus to others. HIV treatment as prevention (TasP) is rapidly becoming an important public health strategy to reduce HIV transmission at the population level. Data for this study were collected on a sample of 11,397 HIV-positive individuals in the Ryan White system, a publicly funded system of care for HIV-positive individuals in Los Angeles County who are uninsured, in 2009 to examine two components of TasP: baseline rates and factors associated with antiretroviral therapy (ART) use and viral load (VL) suppression in a publicly funded system of care. ART coverage among our sample was 90%. In multivariate analyses, those with a higher odds of having unsuppressed VL included: females compared to males (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=1.25; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.06, 1.47); African Americans compared to whites (AOR=1.42; 95% CI=1.24, 1.62); men who have sex with men compared to heterosexuals (AOR=1.15; 95% CI=1.00, 1.32); recent substance abusers compared to nonsubstance abusers (AOR=1.35; 95% CI=1.17, 1.55); those recently incarcerated or ever incarcerated compared to those never incarcerated (AOR=1.37; 95% CI=1.15, 1.63; and AOR=1.28; 95% CI=1.09, 1.50); and those retained in care compared to those not retained in care (AOR=1.98; 95% CI=1.76, 2.22). Understanding the key sociodemographic, geographic and behavioral factors associated with ART use as well as HIV VL suppression will be useful for informing the development and deployment of targeted programming and policies that may further enhance the implementation of the TasP approach in communities across the United States.
Adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) has markedly improved HIV disease management, and significantly reduced HIV/AIDS-associated morbidity and mortality. Although recent studies suggest a relationship between smoking and suboptimal adherence to ART, a more in-depth understanding of this relationship is needed. We conducted a secondary analysis using data from a randomized controlled smoking cessation trial to investigate the association of nonadherence to ART with potential demographic, psychosocial (perceived stress and depression), and substance use (nicotine dependence, illicit drug use, and alcohol use) variables among persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) who smoke. The mean (standard deviation [SD]) age of participants (n=326) was 45.9 years old (SD=7.6). Additionally, the majority were male (72.1%), self-identified as black (76.7%), and reported sexual contact as the mode of HIV acquisition (70%). Unadjusted logistic regression analysis indicated that depression (odds ratio [OR]=1.02; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.00, 1.04), illicit drug use (OR=2.39; 95% CI=1.51, 3.79) and alcohol use (OR=2.86; 95%CI=1.79, 4.57) were associated with nonadherence. Adjusted logistic regression analysis indicated that nicotine dependence (OR=1.13; 95% CI=1.02, 1.25), illicit drug use (OR=2.10; 95% CI=1.27, 3.49), alcohol use (OR=2.50; 95% CI=1.52, 4.12), and age (OR=1.04; 95% CI=1.00, 1.07) were associated with nonadherence. Nicotine dependence, illicit drug use, and alcohol use are potentially formidable barriers to ART adherence among PLWHA who smoke. Future efforts should investigate the complex relationships among these variables to improve adherence particularly among populations confronted with multifaceted health challenges.
We described influences on past research participation among low-income persons living with HIV (PLWH) and examined whether such influences differed by study type. We analyzed a convenience sample of individuals from a large, urban clinic specializing in treating low-income PLWH. Using a computer-assisted survey, we elicited perceptions of research and participating in research, barriers, benefits, “trigger” influences, and self-efficacy in participating in research. Of 193 participants, we excluded 14 who did not identify any type of study participation, and 17 who identified “other” as study type, resulting in 162 cases for analysis. We compared results among four groups (i.e., 6 comparisons): past medical participants (n=36, 22%), past behavioral participants (n=49, 30%), individuals with no past research participation (n=52, 32%), and persons who had participated in both medical and behavioral studies (n=25, 15%). Data were analyzed using chi-square tests for categorical variables and ANOVA for continuous variables. We employed a multinomial probit (MNP) model to examine the association of multiple factors with the outcome. Confidence in ability to keep appointments, and worry about being a ‘guinea pig’ showed statistical differences in bivariate analyses. The MNP regression analysis showed differences between and across all 6 comparison groups. Fewer differences were seen across groupings of medical participants, behavioral participants, and those with no past research experience, than in comparisons with the medical-behavioral group. In the MNP regression model ‘age’ and level of certainty regarding ‘keeping yourself from being a guinea pig’ showed significant differences between past medical participants and past behavioral participants.
To determine the indications for, rates of therapeutic anticoagulation during, and complications of warfarin therapy in HIV-infected individuals, in whom long-term anticoagulation is frequently indicated. To identify risk factors for nonoptimal anticoagulation and to determine if warfarin dosing is differentially affected by specific antiretroviral agents. Retrospective study of a dedicated anticoagulation program at one of the largest clinics for HIV-infected individuals in the United States. Seventy-three HIV-infected individuals on warfarin were followed for a total of 911 visits. The rate of therapeutic internation normalized ratio (INR) levels was 34.5% when including only visits at which patients were assessed to be adherent with warfarin. In multivariable analysis, injection drug use at baseline was an independent risk factor for subtherapeutic INR (odds ratio [OR] 2.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3–4.7, p=0.01). Additionally, warfarin adherence was protective of both subtherapeutic (OR 0.4, 95% CI 0.2–0.6, p<0.0001) and supratherapeutic (OR 0.5, 95% CI 0.3–0.9, p=0.02) INR status. Efavirenz-based antiretroviral regimens were associated with lower weekly warfarin doses (46 mg) to maintain therapeutic INR compared to lopinavir/ritonavir-based regimens (68 mg; p=0.01) and atazanavir/ritonavir-based regimens (71 mg; p=0.007). Consistently therapeutic warfarin therapy is difficult to achieve in HIV-infected individuals, even with a dedicated anticoagulation program. Adherence to warfarin therapy is important but rates of therapeutic INR levels are nonetheless low. Lower warfarin dosing was required for efavirenz compared to two commonly used protease inhibitor-based regimens. Because of these factors, the emergence of new oral anticoagulants is an important development for HIV-infected individuals who require long term anticoagulation therapy.
Adherence to antiretrovirals by pregnant women (and postpartum women if breastfeeding) is crucial to effectively decrease maternal viral load and decrease the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Our objectives were to describe self-reported adherence to antiretrovirals during the antepartum (after 22 weeks of pregnancy) and postpartum periods (6–12 weeks and 6 months), and identify predictors of adherence among HIV-infected women enrolled and followed in a prospective cohort study from June 2008 to June 2010 at multiple sites in Latin America. Adherence was evaluated using the number of missed and expected doses during the 3 days before the study visit. At the pre-delivery visit, 340 of 376 women (90%) reported perfect adherence. This rate significantly decreased by 6–12 weeks (171/214 [80%]) and 6 months postpartum (163/199 [82%], p<0.01). The odds for less than perfect adherence at the pre-delivery visit was significantly higher for pregnant women with current tobacco use (odds ratio [OR]=2.9, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.46–6.14; p=0.0029). At 6–12 weeks postpartum, the probability of non-perfect adherence increased by 6% for each 1 year increase in age (OR=1.06, 95% CI: 1.00–1.12, p=0.0497). At 6 months postpartum, the odds of nonperfect adherence was higher for those who were currently using alcohol (OR=3.04, 95% CI: 1.34–6.90; p=0.0079). Although a self-report measure of adherence based on only 3 days may lead to overestimation of actual adherence over time, women with perfect adherence had lower viral loads and higher CD4 counts. Adherence to antiretrovirals decreased significantly postpartum. Interventions should target women at high risk for lower adherence during pregnancy and postpartum, including tobacco and alcohol users.
Sexual pleasure has been identified as an important consideration in decision-making surrounding condom use. We examined the impact of perceived pleasure loss associated with condom use on recent history of insertive and receptive unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) among Latino men who have sex with men (MSM) living in the United States. A total of 482 Dominican, Colombian, and Brazilian immigrant MSM were surveyed regarding sexual attitudes and practices via computer-assisted self-interviewing technology with audio enhancement (ACASI). Participants rated the pleasure they derived from protected and unprotected anal intercourse in each position (insertive and receptive) and also reported their HIV status, relationship status, and recent sexual history. Men who had engaged in both positions, with and without condoms (n=268), perceived a greater pleasure loss associated with condoms during anal intercourse in the insertive versus receptive position. Logistic regression analyses controlling for HIV status, relationship status, and age revealed that men who perceived greater pleasure loss from condoms were more likely to have engaged in UAI over the past 3 months (n[insertive]=297; n[receptive]=284). Findings indicate that the pleasure loss associated with condoms may be a key deterrent for their use in either sex position among Latino MSM. Therefore, pleasure needs to be prioritized in the development of condoms and other sexual safety measures as well as in the promotion of their use.
The Center for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) 004 and Pre-exposure Prophylaxis Initiative (iPrEx) studies demonstrated that topical or oral chemoprophylaxis could decrease HIV transmission. Yet to have an appreciable public health impact, physicians will need to be educated about these new HIV prevention modalities. Massachusetts physicians were recruited via e-mail to complete an online survey of their knowledge and use of HIV prevention interventions. Data were collected before (July–December, 2010) (n=178) and after (December, 2010–April, 2011) (n=115) the release of iPrEx data. Over the two time intervals, knowledge of oral PrEP significantly increased (79% to 92%, p<0.01), whereas knowledge about topical microbicides was already high (89% pre-iPrEx). Post-iPrEx, specialists were more knowledgeable about oral PrEP (p<0.01) and topical microbicides (p<0.001) than generalists. The majority of the respondents would prefer to prescribe topical microbicides (75%) than oral PrEP (25%; p<0.001), primarily because they perceived fewer side effects (95%). Respondents indicated that PrEP should be available if it were a highly effective, daily pill; however, ongoing concerns included: potential drug resistance (93%), decreased funds for other forms of HIV prevention (88%), medication side effects (83%), and limited data regarding PrEP's clinical efficacy (75%). Participants indicated that formal CDC guidelines would have the greatest impact on their willingness to prescribe PrEP (96%). Among Massachusetts physicians sampled, chemoprophylaxis knowledge was high, but current experience was limited. Although topical gel was preferred, responses suggest a willingness to adapt practices pending additional efficacy data and further guidance from normative bodies. Educational programs aimed at incorporating antiretroviral chemoprophylaxis into physicians' HIV prevention practices are warranted.
This study prospectively examines the effects of maternal and child HIV infection on youth penetrative and unprotected penetrative sex, as well as the role of internal contextual, external contextual, social and self-regulatory factors in influencing the sexual behaviors of HIV−infected (PHIV+), HIV−affected (uninfected with an HIV+ caregiver), and HIV unaffected (uninfected with an HIV− caregiver) youth over time. Data (N=420) were drawn from two longitudinal studies focused on the effects of pediatric or maternal HIV on youth (51% female; 39% PHIV+) and their caregivers (92% female; 46% HIV+). PHIV+ youth were significantly less likely to engage in penetrative sex than HIV− youth at follow-up, after adjusting for contextual, social, and self-regulatory factors. Other individual- and contextual-level factors such as youth alcohol and marijuana use, residing with a biological parent, caregiver employment, caregiver marijuana use, and youth self-concept were also associated with penetrative sex. Youth who used alcohol were significantly more likely to engage in unprotected penetrative sex. Data suggest that, despite contextual, social, and self-regulatory risk factors, PHIV+ youth are less likely to engage in sexual behavior compared to HIV− youth from similar environments. Further research is required to understand delays in sexual activity in PHIV+ youth and also to understand potential factors that promote resiliency, particularly as they age into older adolescence and young adulthood.
Methamphetamine use has been associated with HIV transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM). However, providers have been hesitant to utilize post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) in populations of stimulant users. This single-arm, open label pilot study sought to demonstrate the safety, feasibility, and acceptability of PEP combined with the drug abstinence intervention of contingency management (CM) in methamphetamine-using MSM. HIV-uninfected MSM reporting recent methamphetamine use were recruited to a CM intervention. Those who reported a recent high-risk sexual or injection drug exposure to an HIV-infected or serostatus unknown source were initiated on tenofovir/emtricitabine (Truvada)-based PEP. Participants were followed over 3 months for infectious/biologic, behavioral, and drug use outcomes. Fifty-three participants enrolled in the study; 35 participants (66%) initiated PEP after a high-risk exposure. The median time from exposure to medication administration was 37.8 h (range 12.5–68.0 h). Twenty-five (71.4%) PEP initiators successfully completed the treatment course. Median medication adherence was 96% (IQR 57–100%), and medication was generally well tolerated. Methamphetamine abstinence during CM treatment increased PEP adherence (2% [95% CI +1–+3%]) per clean urine toxicology sample provided), and increased the odds of PEP course completion (OR 1.17, 95% CI 1.04–1.31). One incident of HIV seroconversion was observed in a participant who did not complete PEP treatment, and reported multiple subsequent exposures. Findings demonstrate that PEP, when combined with CM, is safe, feasible, and acceptable as an HIV prevention strategy in methamphetamine-using MSM.
The current study provides a qualitative test of a recently proposed application of an Information, Motivation, Behavioral Skills (IMB) model of health behavior situated to the social-environmental, structural, cognitive-affective, and behavioral demands of retention in HIV care. Mixed-methods qualitative analysis was used to identify the content and context of critical theory-based determinants of retention in HIV care, and to evaluate the relative fit of the model to the qualitative data collected via in-depth semi-structured interviews with a sample of inner-city patients accessing traditional and nontraditional HIV care services in the Bronx, NY. The sample reflected a diverse marginalized patient population who commonly experienced comorbid chronic conditions (e.g., psychiatric disorders, substance abuse disorders, diabetes, hepatitis C). Through deductive content coding, situated IMB model-based content was identified in all but 7.1% of statements discussing facilitators or barriers to retention in HIV care. Inductive emergent theme identification yielded a number of important themes influencing retention in HIV care (e.g., acceptance of diagnosis, stigma, HIV cognitive/physical impairments, and global constructs of self-care). Multiple elements of these themes strongly aligned with the model's IMB constructs. The convergence of the results from both sets of analysis demonstrate that participants' experiences map well onto the content and structure of the situated IMB model, providing a systematic classification of important theoretical and contextual determinants of retention in care. Future intervention efforts to enhance retention in HIV care should address these multiple determinants (i.e., information, motivation, behavioral skills) of self-directed retention in HIV care.