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1.  Illicit Drug Use, Depression and their Association with Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy in HIV-Positive Women 
Drug and alcohol dependence  2007;89(1):74-81.
Background
We examined the interaction of illicit drug use and depressive symptoms, and how they affect the subsequent likelihood of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) use among women with HIV/AIDS.
Methods
Subjects included 1,710 HIV-positive women recruited from six sites in the U.S. including Brooklyn, Bronx, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco/Bay Area, and Washington, DC. Cases of probable depression were identified using depressive symptom scores on the Centers for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Crack, cocaine, heroin, and amphetamine use were self-reported at 6-month time intervals. We conducted multivariate logistic random regression analysis of data collected during sixteen waves of semiannual interviews conducted from April 1996 through March 2004.
Results
We found an interaction effect between illicit drug use and depression that acted to suppress subsequent HAART use, controlling for virologic and immunologic indicators, socio-demographic variables, time, and study site.
Conclusions
This is the first study to document the interactive effects of drug use and depressive symptoms on reduced likelihood of HAART use in a national cohort of women. Since evidence-based behavioral health and antiretroviral therapies for each of these three conditions are now available, comprehensive HIV treatment is an achievable public health goal.
doi:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2006.12.002
PMCID: PMC4009351  PMID: 17291696
HIV; depression; HAART; drug use
2.  Sexual Health Screening Among Racially/Ethnically Diverse Young Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men 
Purpose
Screening for sexually transmitted infections is a crucial element of improving health and reducing disparities, and young men who have sex with men (YMSM) face high rates of both STIs and HIV. We examined sexual health screening among a diverse sample of adolescent YMSM living in New York City.
Methods
Between 2009 – 2011, cross-sectional data were collected from 590 YMSM in New York City. Separate multivariable logistic regression models were used to assess the relationship between sociodemographic, psychosocial, and health and healthcare related factors and two main outcomes: having sought a recent sexual health screening (past 6 months) and having a rectal sexual health screening (lifetime).
Results
Overall, 46% reported a sexual health screening in the prior 6 months, but only 16% reported ever having a rectal screening for STIs. Rates were higher among ethnic minority YMSM and men who accessed care at clinics. Multivariable results indicated that gay community affiliation, recent unprotected anal sex, and number of lifetime male partners were also associated with seeking a recent screening.
Conclusions
Though half of the sample reported recent general screening, rates of lifetime rectal screening are low. Efforts to increase screening may focus on improving provider knowledge and guideline adherence, and educating and encouraging YMSM to access sexual health check-ups.
doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.10.002
PMCID: PMC3634893  PMID: 23298989
adolescent; gay and bisexual; sexual health; sexually transmitted infections
3.  Individual, Psychosocial, and Social Correlates of Unprotected Anal Intercourse in a New Generation of Young Men Who Have Sex With Men in New York City 
American journal of public health  2013;103(5):889-895.
Objectives
We examined associations of individual, psychosocial, and social factors with unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) among young men who have sex with men in New York City.
Methods
Using baseline assessment data from 592 young men who have sex with men participating in an ongoing prospective cohort study, we conducted multivariable logistic regression analyses to examine the associations between covariates and likelihood of recently engaging in UAI with same-sex partners.
Results
Nineteen percent reported recent UAI with a same-sex partner. In multivariable models, being in a current relationship with another man (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 4.87), an arrest history (AOR = 2.01), greater residential instability (AOR = 1.75), and unstable housing or homelessness (AOR = 3.10) was associated with recent UAI. Although high levels of gay community affinity and low internalized homophobia were associated with engaging in UAI in bivariate analyses, these associations did not persist in multivariable analyses.
Conclusions
Associations of psychosocial and socially produced conditions with UAI among a new generation of young men who have sex with men warrant that HIV prevention programs and policies address structural factors that predispose sexual risk behaviors.
doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.300963
PMCID: PMC3660046  PMID: 23488487
4.  Predictors and effects of alcohol use on liver function among young HCV-infected injection drug users in a behavioral intervention 
Journal of hepatology  2010;55(1):45-52.
Background & Aims
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) screening can provide opportunities to reduce disease progression through counseling against alcohol use, but empirical data on this issue are sparse. We determined the efficacy of a behavioral intervention in reducing alcohol use among young, HCV-infected injection drug users (IDUs) (n=355) and assessed whether changes in liver enzymes were associated with changes in alcohol consumption.
Methods
Both the intervention and attention-control groups were counseled to avoid alcohol use, but the intervention group received enhanced counseling. Logistic regression, ANOVA, and continuous time Markov models were used to identify factors associated with alcohol use, changes in mean ALT and AST levels and change in alcohol use post-intervention.
Results
Six months post-intervention, alcohol abstinence increased 22.7% in both groups, with no difference by intervention arm. Transition from alcohol use to abstinence was associated with a decrease in liver enzymes, with a marginally greater decrease in the intervention group (p=0.05 for ALT; p=0.06 for AST). In multivariate Markov models, those who used marijuana transitioned from alcohol abstinence to consumption more rapidly than non-users (RR=3.11); those who were homeless transitioned more slowly to alcohol abstinence (RR=0.47); and those who had ever received a clinical diagnosis of liver disease transitioned more rapidly to abstinence (RR=1.88).
Conclusions
Although, behavioral counseling to reduce alcohol consumption among HCV-infected IDUs had a modest effect, reductions in alcohol consumption were associated with marked improvements in liver function. Interventions to reduce alcohol use among HCV-infected IDUs may benefit from being integrated into clinical care and monitoring of HCV infection.
doi:10.1016/j.jhep.2010.10.028
PMCID: PMC3094600  PMID: 21145862
5.  The relationship between non-injection drug use behaviors on progression to AIDS and death in a cohort of HIV seropositive women in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy use 
Addiction (Abingdon, England)  2005;100(7):990-1002.
Aims
To evaluate the effects of longitudinal patterns and types of non-injection drug use (NIDU) on HIV progression in the highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) era.
Design
Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), a prospective cohort study conducted at six US sites.
Methods
Data were collected semi-annually from 1994 to 2002 on 1046 HIV+ women. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards modeling was used to estimate relative hazards for developing AIDS and for death by pattern and type of NIDU.
Findings
During follow-up, 285 AIDS events and 287 deaths, of which 177 were AIDS-related, were reported. At baseline, consistent and former NIDU was associated with CD4+ counts of < 200 cells/μl (43% and 46%, respectively) and viral load > 40 000 copies/ml (53% and 55%, respectively). Consistent NIDU reported less HAART use (53%) compared with other NIDU patterns. Stimulant use was associated with CD4+ cell counts of < 200 cells/μl (53%) and lower HAART initiation (63%) compared with other NIDU types. In multivariate analyses, progression to AIDS was significantly higher among consistent (RH = 2.52), inconsistent (RH = 1.63) and former (RH = 1.56) users compared with never users; and for stimulant (RH = 2.04) and polydrug (RH = 1.65) users compared with non-users. Progression to all-cause death was higher only among former users (RH = 1.48) compared with never users in multivariate analysis. NIDU behaviors were not associated with progression to AIDS-related death.
Conclusions
In this study, pattern and type of NIDU were associated with HIV progression to AIDS and all-cause mortality. These differences were associated with lower HAART utilization among consistent NIDU and use of stimulants, and poor baseline immunological and virological status among former users.
doi:10.1111/j.1360-0443.2005.01098.x
PMCID: PMC3128378  PMID: 15955015
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; highly active anti-retroviral therapy; human immunodeficiency virus; mortality; non-injection drug use
6.  Design and Feasibility of a Randomized Behavioral Intervention to Reduce Distributive Injection Risk and Improve Health-Care Access Among hepatitisC virus Positive Injection Drug Users: The Study to Reduce Intravenous Exposures (STRIVE) 
Journal of Urban Health   2007;84(1):99-115.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is hyperendemic among injection drug users (IDUs). However, few scientifically proven interventions to prevent secondary transmission of HCV from infected IDUs to others exist. This report describes the design, feasibility, and baseline characteristics of participants enrolled in the Study to Reduce Intravenous Exposure (STRIVE). STRIVE was a multisite, randomized-control trial to test a behavioral intervention developed to reduce distribution of used injection equipment (needles, cookers, cottons, and rinse water) and increase health-care utilization among antibody HCV (anti-HCV) positive IDUs. STRIVE enrolled anti-HCV positive IDU in Baltimore, New York City, and Seattle; participants completed behavioral assessments and venipuncture for HIV, HCV-RNA, and liver function tests (LFTs) and were randomized to attend either a six-session, small-group, peer-mentoring intervention workshop or a time-matched, attention-control condition. Follow-up visits were conducted at 3 and 6 months. At baseline, of the 630 HCV-positive IDUs enrolled (mean age of 26 years, 60% white, 76% male), 55% reported distributive needle sharing, whereas 74, 69, and 69% reported sharing cookers, cottons, and rinse water, respectively. Health-care access was low, with 41% reporting an emergency room as their main source of medical care. Among those enrolled, 66% (418/630) were randomized: 53% (222/418) and 47% (196/418) to the intervention and control conditions, respectively. Follow-up rates were 70 and 73% for the 3- and 6-month visits, respectively. As distributive sharing of used injection equipment was common while reports of receiving HCV care were low, these findings indicate an urgent need for HCV-related interventions with IDUs and demonstrate the acceptability and feasibility to do so.
doi:10.1007/s11524-006-9133-7
PMCID: PMC2078252  PMID: 17200799
Behavioral intervention; Health-care utilization; hepatitis C virus;  Injection drug user; Randomized trial
7.  Self-Reported Hepatitis C Virus Antibody Status and Risk Behavior in Young Injectors 
Public Health Reports  2006;121(6):710-719.
SYNOPSIS
Objective
This study was conducted to assess the accuracy of self-reported hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody (anti-HCV) serostatus in injection drug users (IDUs), and examine whether self-reported anti-HCV serostatus was associated with recent injection risk behavior.
Methods
In five U.S. cities (Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle), 3,004 IDUs from 15 to 30 years old were recruited for a baseline interview to determine eligibility for a randomized controlled trial of a behavioral intervention. HIV and HCV antibody testing were performed, and subject data (e.g., demographics, drug and sexual risk behavior, and history of HIV and HCV testing) were collected via audio computer-administered self-interview. Risk behavior during the previous three months was compared to self-reported anti-HCV serostatus.
Results
Anti-HCV prevalence in this sample of young IDUs was 34.1%. Seventy-two percent of anti-HCV-positive and 46% of anti-HCV-negative IDUs in this sample were not aware of their HCV serostatus. Drug treatment or needle exchange use was associated with increased awareness of HCV serostatus. Anti-HCV-negative IDUs who knew their serostatus were less likely than those unaware of their status to inject with a syringe used by another IDU or to share cottons to filter drug solutions. Knowledge of one's positive anti-HCV status was not associated with safer injection practices.
Conclusions
Few anti-HCV-positive IDUs in this study were aware of their serostatus. Expanded availability of HCV screening with high quality counseling is clearly needed for this population to promote the health of chronically HCV-infected IDUs and to decrease risk among injectors susceptible to acquiring or transmitting HCV.
PMCID: PMC1781913  PMID: 17278406
8.  Screening for depressive symptoms among HCV-infected injection drug users: Examination of the utility of the CES-D and the beck depression inventory 
The prevalence of depression is high among injection drug users (IDUs) and among those infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Moreover, one of the drugs used in the standard treatment for HCV infection (interferon) has been known to exacerbate, underlying psychiatric disorders such as depression and has been associated with the development of major, depressive disorder among HCV-infected patients. For these reasons, the most recent National Institutes of Health consensus statement on the management of HCV infection recommends the identification and treatment of depression prior to the start of HCV treatment. This study aimed to examine the extent of current moderate/severe depressive symptoms in a cohort of HCV-infected IDUs as measured by two screening tools, the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Subjects were participants in a multisite behavioral intervention trial among HCV-seropositive, human immunodeficiency virus-negative IDUs aged 18–35 years; the trial was designed to prevent secondary transmission of HCV and to enhance uptake of HCV treatment. Baseline data on demographics, risk behaviors, depression, alcohol use, and health care utilization were measured via audio computer-assisted self-interview. A factor analysis was conducted on each scale to examine the clustering of items used in each to measure depressive symptoms. Baseline depressive symptoms, as measured via the CES-D and the BDI, were also compared using Pearson’s correlation coefficient. Of 193 HCV-infected individuals enrolled to date, 75,6% were male, and 65.3% were white. Median age was 25.8 years. Factor analyses revealed that these scales measured depression differently; a distinct somatic component was present in the BDI, but not the CES-D. Using cutoff scores of 23 for the CES-D and 19 for the BDI, 44.0% and 41.5% of the participants were identified as having moderate/severe depressive symptoms, respectively. Over half (56.0%) were identified as having depressive symptoms
doi:10.1093/jurban/jth114
PMCID: PMC3456451  PMID: 15136661

Results 1-8 (8)