While methamphetamine users report high rates of internalized or self-stigma, few studies have examined experiences of stigma (i.e., stigmatization by others) and its correlates.
This study identified correlates of stigma experiences in a sample of 438 HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) who were enrolled in a sexual risk reduction intervention in San Diego, CA.
Approximately 96% of the sample reported experiences of stigma related to their use of methamphetamine. In multiple regression analysis, experiences of stigma were associated with binge use of methamphetamine, injection drug use, increased anger symptoms, reduced emotional support, and lifetime treatment for methamphetamine use.
These findings suggest that experiences of stigma are common among methamphetamine users and that interventions to address this type of stigma and its correlates may offer social, psychological, and health benefits to HIV-positive methamphetamine-using MSM.
Stigma experiences; Methamphetamine; Men who have sex with men; HIV
This study examined whether satisfaction from leisure activities moderates the relationship between caregiving demands (i.e., hours per day spent caring for a spouse with dementia) and resting levels of the catecholamines norepinephrine (NE) and epinephrine (EPI). Spousal caregivers (N=107; mean age 73.95±8.12 years) were assessed in home for plasma levels of NE and EPI, amount of care provided, and leisure satisfaction. Regression was used to determine whether leisure satisfaction moderated the relationship between hours providing care per day and catecholamine levels. A significant interaction was found between hours caregiving and leisure satisfaction for NE, but not for EPI. Post hoc regressions were conducted for both NE and EPI. At low leisure satisfaction, time spent caring for a spouse was positively associated with plasma NE (β = .41; p = .005) and EPI (β = .44; p = .003). In contrast, at high levels of satisfaction, time caregiving was not significantly associated with plasma NE (β = −.08; p = .57) or EPI (β = .23; p = .12). These findings suggest that leisure satisfaction may protect caregivers from increases in catecholamines, which have been implicated in cardiovascular risk. Further support for these findings may impact psychological treatments for distressed caregivers.
leisure satisfaction; leisure activities; catecholamine; dementia caregiving; cardiovascular disease
Retrospective reports of children’s relationships with their parents have been associated with increased risk for depressive symptoms in adulthood. This study examined four dimensions of the current mother-child relationship (affection, criticism, over-involvement, conflict) in relation to depressive symptoms in a sample of 270 HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM). Depressive symptoms were positively associated with overt conflict or disagreement with mothers and perceived over-involvement by mothers, and inversely related to frequency of contact with mothers. These findings suggest that clinicians who treat HIV-positive methamphetamine-using MSM with depressive symptoms should evaluate issues in the mother-son relationship and consider family-based therapies as an adjunct to treatment.
depressive symptoms; methamphetamine; men who have sex with men; HIV; maternal relationship
To gain insights into bridging behaviors and their correlates among male clients of female sex workers (FSWs).
Men aged ≥18 years who recently paid or traded for sex with FSWs were recruited in Tijuana in 2008–2009. Participants underwent interviews and testing for HIV, chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea. Logistic regression compared “bridgers” (clients who had unprotected sex with FSWs and with a wife or steady partner) with men who did not.
Of 383 men, 134 (35%) had a steady partner. Half (n = 70) of those had unprotected sex with both FSWs and the steady partner. Prevalence of any STI or HIV was 16.5% among bridgers and 2.3% among non-bridgers. Compared to other clients, bridgers were more likely to use drugs during sex with FSWs (81.4% versus 46.9%, p < 0.0001), had higher sensation-seeking (p < 0.0001) and misogyny scores (p = 0.05), and were more likely to offer FSWs extra money for unprotected sex (34.4% versus 1.6%, p < 0.0001). Factors independently associated with bridging were: using drugs during sex with FSWs (adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 3.4, p = 0.007), sensation-seeking (AOR: 4.3 per unit increase, p = 0.05), and offering FSWs more money for unprotected sex (AOR: 24.5, p = 0.003).
Sensation-seeking clients who use drugs during sex and coerce FSWs into unprotected sex may be less responsive to standard risk reduction interventions. Interventions are needed that target clients rather than rely on FSWs to change behaviors that may not be under their control.
male clients; bridging behavior; female sex workers; HIV transmission; prevention; Mexico
In Tijuana, Mexico, sex work is regulated by the municipal government, through registration cards issued to female sex workers (FSWs) for an annual fee. Registration has been associated with decreased drug use and increase condom use and HIV testing. Previously, it was demonstrated that FSWs operating in bars were more likely than street-based FSWs to be registered. This implies that certain venues may be more accessible to local authorities for the enforcement of this type of programme. Taking a novel multilevel approach, we examined whether venue characteristics of bars reflecting greater organised management and visibility affect registration status of FSWs. In an analysis of venue-level characteristics, predictors of being registered were availability of free condoms at work and distance to the main sex strip; however, these were not independently associated after inclusion of FSWs’ income, illicit drug use and history of HIV testing. Our findings suggest that sex work regulations may inadvertently exclude venues in which the more vulnerable and less visible FSWs, such as injection drug users and those with limited financial resources, are situated. Efforts to revise or reconsider sex work regulations to ensure that they best promote FSWs’ health, human and labour rights are recommended.
sex work; venue; multilevel analysis; sex work regulation; registration
Stress and depressive symptoms have been associated with impaired endothelial function as measured by brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD), possibly through repeated and heightened activation of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS). Behavioral correlates of depression, such as satisfaction with leisure activities (i.e., leisure satisfaction), may also be associated with endothelial function via their association with depressive symptoms. This study examined the longitudinal associations between stress, depressive symptoms, leisure satisfaction, and endothelial function as measured by FMD.
Participants were 116 elderly Alzheimer’s caregivers (mean age = 74.3 ± 8.1; 68% female; 87% Caucasian) who underwent three yearly assessments of FMD, stress, depressive symptoms, and leisure satisfaction. Mixed regression analyses were used to examine longitudinal relationships between constructs of interest.
A significant and positive association was found between leisure satisfaction and FMD (p = .050), whereas a negative relationship was found for stress (p = .017). Depressive symptoms were not associated with FMD (p = .432). Time (p < .001) and the number of years caregiving (p = .027) were also significant predictors of FMD, suggesting that FMD decreased over time and was worse the longer a participant had been a caregiver prior to study enrollment.
These results suggest that behavioral correlates of depression (i.e., engagement in pleasurable activities) may be related to endothelial function in caregivers, and behavioral treatments for depression may be particularly useful in improving cardiovascular outcomes in caregivers.
Behavioral Activation; Depression; Flow-Mediated Dilation; Stress
Schizophrenia (SZ) and Bipolar Disorder (BD) are associated with multidimensional disability. This study examined differential predictors of functional deficits between the disorders.
Community dwelling individuals with SZ (N=161) or BD (N=130) were administered neuropsychological tests, symptom measures, performance-based social and adaptive (i.e., everyday-living skills) functional competence measures, and rated on domains of real-world functioning: 1) Community and Household activities, 2) Work skills, and 3) Interpersonal relationships. We used confirmatory path analysis to find the best fitting models to examine the direct and indirect (as mediated by competence) prediction of the three domains of real-world functioning.
In all models for both groups, neurocognition’s relationship with outcomes was largely mediated by competence. Symptoms were negatively associated with outcomes but unassociated with competence, with the exception of depression, which was a direct and mediated (through social competence) predictor in BD. In both groups, neurocognition was related to Activities directly and through a mediated relationship with adaptive competence. Work Skills were directly and indirectly (through mediation with social competence) predicted by neurocognition in SZ and entirely mediated by adaptive and social competence in BD. Neurocognition was associated with Interpersonal Relationships directly in the SZ group, and mediated by social competence in both groups.
Although there was greater disability in SZ, neurocognition predicted worse functioning in all outcome domains in both disorders. Our study supports the shared role of neurocognition in BD and SZ in producing disability, with predictive differences between disorders observed in domain-specific effects of symptoms and social and adaptive competence.
Cognitive deficits are associated with disability in people with schizophrenia so treatment of cognitive impairment has been proposed as an intervention to reduce disability. However, studies relying on patient self-report have found very minimal relationships between ratings of real-world functioning and cognitive performance, raising questions about the measurement of real-world functioning as a treatment outcome. The Validation of Everyday Real-world Outcomes (VALERO) study was conducted to evaluate functional rating scales and to identify the rating scale or scales most robustly related to performance-based measures of cognition and everyday living skills.
198 adults with schizophrenia were tested with the neurocognitive measures from the MATRICS Consensus cognitive Battery and performed the UCSD performance-based skills assessment-Brief and advanced finances subtest from the Everyday Functioning Battery. They and a friend, relative, clinician, or case manager also reported their everyday functioning on 6 ratings scales: Social Behavior Schedule, Social Adjustment Scale, Heinrichs Carpenter Quality of Life Scale, Specific Levels of Functioning, Independent Living skills Survey, and Life Skills Profile. Best judgment ratings were generated by an interviewer who administered the rating scales to patients and informants.
Statistical analyses developed an ability latent trait that reflected scores on the three performance-based (i.e., ability) measures and canonical correlation analysis related interviewer ratings to the latent trait. The overall fit of the model with all six rating scales was good: χ2 = 78.100, df = 56, p = .027, and RMSEA = .078. Individual rating scales that did not improve the fit of the model were systematically deleted and a final model with two rating scales fit the data: χ2 = 32.059, df = 24, p = .126, RMSEA = .072. A regression analysis found that the Specific Levels of Functioning was a superior predictor of the three-performance based ability measures.
We found that systematic assessments of real world functioning are related to performance on neurocognitive and functional capacity measures. Of the six rating scales evaluated, the Specific Levels of Functioning (SLOF) was best in this study. Use of a single rating scale provides a very efficient assessment of real-world functioning that accounts for considerable variance in performance-based scores.
Recent advances in the assessment of disability in schizophrenia have separated the measurement of functional capacity (the ability to perform everyday functioning skills in structured assessments) from real-world functional outcomes. This study examined the similarity of performance-based assessments of everyday functioning, real-world disability, and achievement of milestones in people with schizophrenia in the United States and in Sweden.
Samples of schizophrenia patients living in rural areas in Sweden (n=146) and in New York (n=244)) performed the brief version of the UCSD Performance-based Skills Assessment (UPSA-B) and a neuropsychological assessment and were rated for functioning by their case managers. Information from records and case managers was used to determine the frequency of living independently, working, and having ever experienced a stable romantic relationship.
Performance on the UPSA-B was essentially identical in the two samples (New York, M=13.84; Sweden, M=13.30). So were scores on the case manager ratings of everyday activities (New York: M=49.0; Sweden: M=48.8). The correlations between UPSA-B scores, NP test performance, and SLOF ratings did not differ across the two samples. The proportion of cases who had never had a close relationship and rates of vocational disability were also nearly identical. In contrast, 80% of the Swedish patients and 46% of the New York patients were living independently.
Scores on performance-based measures of everyday living skills were very similar in people with schizophrenia across cultures. In contrast, real-world residential outcomes were very different. These data suggest that cultural and social support systems can lead to divergent real-world outcomes in individuals who have evidence of the same levels of ability and potential.
Although sex work and younger age increase HIV vulnerability, empirical data regarding the impacts of underage sex work are lacking. We explored associations between features of the risk environment, sex work and drug use history, and underage sex work entry among 624 female sex workers(FSWs) in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Forty-one percent (n=253) of women began sex work as minors, among whom HIV and any STI/HIV prevalence were 5.2% and 60.7%. Factors independently associated with increased odds of underage sex work were inhalants as the first drug used, forced first injection, number of drug treatment attempts, and recent receptive syringe-sharing. Number of recent condom negotiation attempts with steady partners and depression as a reason for first injecting were negatively associated with underage entry. These results underscore the importance of efforts to prevent underage sex work and the wider factors contributing to HIV risk among vulnerable youth and underage FSWs.
HIV; youth; sex work; risk environment; sexual behavior; substance use
Despite multiple lines of evidence suggesting that people with schizophrenia have substantial problems in self-reporting everyday functioning and cognitive performance, self-report methods are still widely used to assess functioning. This study attempted to identify predictors of accuracy in self report, both in terms of accurate self-assessment and over-estimation of current functioning. As part of the larger Validating Assessments of Everyday Real-World Outcomes (VALERO) study, 195 patients with schizophrenia were asked to self report their everyday functioning with the Specific Levels of Functioning (SLOF) scale, which includes subscales assessing social functioning, everyday activities, and vocational functioning. They were also assessed with measures of neuropsychological (NP) performance and functional capacity (FC), and were assessed for psychiatric symptomatology. In addition, a friend, relative or clinician informant was interviewed with the SLOF, and an interviewer with access to all information provided by the patient and informant (exclusive of performance-based data) generated “best estimate” ratings of actual, everyday functioning. Patients significantly (p<.001) overestimated their vocational functioning and everyday activities compared to the interviewer judgments. Lower levels of NP and FC performance and everyday functioning on the part of patients were consistently associated with overestimation of their functioning. Patient self-reports were not correlated with any performance-based measures, while interviewer judgments were significantly correlated with patients’ performance on NP and FC measures (p<.005). In regression analyses, adjusting for interviewer ratings of functioning, several predictors of the discrepancy between self and interviewer judgments emerged. Higher levels of depressive symptoms were associated with less overestimation in self-reports (p<.001). Delusions, suspiciousness, grandiosity and poor rapport were all significantly (p<.001) associated with over-estimation of functioning compared to interviewer judgments. Poorer NP and FC performance were also associated with over-estimation of everyday functioning, but these results were not statistically significant in multivariate regression models. Consistent with previous studies in schizophrenia, other neuropsychiatric conditions and non-clinical populations, higher levels of depression were associated with increased accuracy in self-assessment. Similarly, lower scores on performance-based measures and judgments of everyday functioning also predicted over-estimation of functioning. Thus, we identified bi-directional predictors of mis-estimation of everyday functioning, even when poor baseline scores were considered. These data suggest that it may be possible to screen patients for their ability to self-report their functioning, but that performance-based measures of functioning provide a less biased assessment.
Neurocognitive deficits are common in bipolar disorder and contribute to functional disability. However, the degree to which general and specific cognitive deficits affect everyday functioning in bipolar disorder is unknown. The goal of this meta-analysis was to examine the magnitude of the effect of specific neurocognitive abilities on everyday functioning in bipolar disorder.
We conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis of studies that reported associations between performance on objective neuropsychological tasks and everyday functioning among individuals with bipolar disorder. From an initial pool of 486 papers, 22 studies met inclusion criteria, comprising a total of 1344 participants. Correlation coefficients were calculated for 11 cognitive domains and four measurement modalities for functioning. We also examined effect moderators, such as sample age, clinical state, and study design.
The mean Pearson correlation between neurocognitive ability and functioning was 0.27, and was significant for all cognitive domains and varied little by cognitive domain. Correlations varied by methods of everyday functioning assessment, being lower for clinician and self-report than performance-based tasks and real-world milestones such as employment. None of the moderator analyses were significant.
Overall, the strength of association between cognitive ability and everyday functioning in bipolar disorder is strikingly similar to that seen in schizophrenia, with little evidence for differences across cognitive domains. The strength of association differed more so according to functional measurement approach.
Bipolar disorder; disability; quality of life; functioning; neuropsychology; cognition
With new treatments targeting features of schizophrenia associated with functional disability, there is a need to evaluate the validity of ratings of everyday outcomes. It is unknown whether patients can validly self-report on aspects of their functional status, which would be a potentially economical method for obtaining outcome data. In this study, 67 older schizophrenia outpatients provided self-ratings of everyday real-world functioning using the specific levels of functioning scale (SLOF). They were also administered assessments of neuropsychological performance, performance-based measures of functional capacity and social skills, clinical symptoms, and quality of life. Case managers, unaware of other ratings, also generated SLOF ratings. Based on discrepancy scores, participants were categorized as accurate raters (n = 24), underestimators (n = 16), or overestimators (n = 27) of their functional status as compared to case managers’ ratings. Patients’ self-rated functional status was correlated with their subjective quality of life, but remarkably unassociated with case manager ratings of functional status or their own performance on functional capacity or social skills measures. Case manager ratings, however, were highly correlated with performance on functional capacity and social skills measures. Patients who underestimated their real world performance had better cognitive skills and greater self-rated depression than those who overestimated. Accurate raters demonstrated greater social skills than both overestimators and underestimators, while overestimators were most cognitively and functionally impaired. Accurate ratings of everyday outcomes in schizophrenia may require systematic observation of real world outcomes or performance-based measures, as self-reports were inconsistent with objective information.
Schizophrenia; Self-appraisal; Functional status; Cognition
We examined correlates of ever injecting drugs in Mexico among residents of San Diego, California.
From 2007–2010, injecting drug users (IDUs) in San Diego underwent an intervieweradministered survey. Logistic regression identified correlates of injection drug use in Mexico.
Of 302 IDUs, 38% were Hispanic, 72% male and median age was 37; 27% ever injected in Mexico; 43% reported distributive syringe sharing there. Factors independently associated with ever injecting drugs in Mexico included being younger at first injection, injecting heroin, distributive syringesharing at least half of the time, and transporting drugs over the last six months.
One-quarter of IDUs reported ever injecting drugs in Mexico, among whom syringe sharing was common, suggesting possible mixing between IDUs in the Mexico-US border region. Prospective studies should monitor trends in cross-border drug use in light of recent Mexican drug policy reforms partially decriminalizing drug possession.
The purpose of this study was to examine whether a brief behavioral intervention promoting condom use among female sex workers (FSWs) and their clients had the added benefit of increasing condom use among FSWs and their steady, non-commercial partners (e.g., husbands, boyfriends). Participants were 362 FSWs, aged ≥ 18, living in Tijuana or Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, who received a behavioral intervention to promote condom use with clients. Repeated measures negative binomial regression was used to assess FSWs' condom use with steady partners versus clients across time. Results showed that FSWs engaged in unprotected sex with steady partners more than with their clients, and that the intervention changed FSWs' condom use with clients but not their steady partners. HIV prevention interventions for FSWs should promote consistent condom use across partner type. Targeting couples rather than individuals may also be necessary.
The stress associated with providing care for a spouse diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease can have adverse effects on cardiovascular health. One potential explanation is that chronic caregiving stress may contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. The purpose of this study was to determine if the duration that one has provided care is associated with degree of atherosclerotic burden, as measured by carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT). One hundred and ten Alzheimer caregivers (mean age 74 ± 8 years, 69% female) underwent in-home assessment of carotid artery IMT via B-mode ultrasonography. Data regarding medical history, blood pressure, and multiple indicators of caregiving stress were also collected. Multiple regression indicated that duration of care was positively associated with IMT measured in the internal/bifurcation segments of the carotid artery (β = 0.202, p = 0.044) independent of risk factors such as age, gender, body mass index, smoking history, sleep quality, hypertension status, and caregiving stressors. Duration of care was positively associated with IMT in the common carotid artery, but the relationship was not significant. These findings provide more evidence of the link between chronic caregiving stress and cardiovascular disease and suggest that enduring the experience of caregiving over a period of years might be associated with atherosclerotic burden.
Alzheimer’s disease; Atherosclerosis; Caregiving; Chronic Stress; Coronary Heart Disease; Intima-media thickness
To estimate the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) in relation to the chronic stress of dementia caregiving and major transitions in the caregiving situation.
We longitudinally assessed 119 elderly spousal Alzheimer’s disease (AD) caregivers and 58 non-caregiving controls for a period of up to three years (mean of 2.8 assessments per participant). Random regression models with fixed and time-variant effects for psychosocial factors, risk factors of chronic kidney disease, and caregiving transitions were used to evaluate changes over time in estimated GFR.
The change in GFR did not differ between caregivers and controls during follow-up (p=.77). Further analyses revealed that GFR declined disproportionately following placement of the spouse in a nursing home at 3 months post-placement (−4.9±2.2 mL/min/1.73m2; p=.03). Post hoc analyses showed that this effect was stronger in caregivers with hypertension compared to those without hypertension (−5.7±3.1 vs. −2.4±3.4 mL/min), as well as in caregivers with diastolic BP levels at 1 standard deviation above the mean than in those with diastolic BP levels at 1 standard deviation below the mean (−8.3±2.9 vs. −1.4±2.7 mL/min).
Kidney function did not differ between caregivers and controls over time. However, GFR had impaired at 3 months after a major caregiving transition. As the effect of placement of the AD spouse on the decline in GFR was moderated by BP, it might be confined to caregivers who experience increased sympathetic activation post-placement.
Blood pressure; caregivers; dementia; kidney disease; psychological stress
Identifying psychosocial factors associated with sexual risk behavior among methamphetamine users is essential to enhancing HIV/STI prevention. Our study examined the relationship between positive and negative life events and sexual risk behavior in a sample of 100 HIV-negative, heterosexually identified methamphetamine-using men and women. Negative life event categories included: death of a significant other; negative health event involving self or significant other; and child custody/visitation issues. Categories of positive life events included: birth or pregnancy involving self or significant other; positive relationship event; and positive life change. Multivariate analyses demonstrated that negative life events were positively associated with total number of unprotected sex acts, whereas positive life events were not associated with sexual risk-taking. Also, amount of methamphetamine used did not moderate the relationship between life events and sexual risk behavior. These data support future research to identify underlying mechanisms that link negative life events to sexual risk-taking in this high-risk population.
Providing care to a spouse with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) may contribute to cardiovascular disease (CVD). The acute phase reactant C-reactive protein is a well-established biomarker of an increased CVD risk.
To investigate the hypothesis that dementia caregiving is associated with elevated circulating levels of CRP and possibly other biomarkers of CVD risk.
We examined 118 elderly spousal Alzheimer caregivers and 51 non-caregiving controls about once a year for up to three years. Random regression models with fixed and time-variant effects for a range of covariates known to affect biomarker levels were used to evaluate changes in CRP and in twelve additional measures of inflammation, cellular adhesion, endothelial function, and hemostasis in relation to caregiving status, years of caregiving, and major transitions in the caregiving situation.
During the study period longer duration of caregiving was associated with elevated CRP levels (p=0.040) and caregivers showed greater tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) levels than controls (p=0.048). Additionally, three months after the death of the AD spouse, caregivers showed a significant drop in CRP levels (p=0.003) and also in levels of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule (sICAM)-1 (p=0.008).
Duration of caregiving, and being a caregiver per se, were both associated with chronic low-grade inflammation as indicated by elevated CRP and TNF-α levels, respectively. Conversely, death of the AD spouse was associated with lower CRP and sICAM-1 levels. The findings indicate that chronic caregiving of those with dementia may result in increased inflammation and thereby, possibly increased CVD risk.
Alzheimer disease; biomarkers; cardiovascular disease; caregiver; cytokines; inflammation; psychological stress
While many studies have examined correlates of trading sex for money, few have examined factors associated with exclusive trading of sex for drugs. We identified sociodemographic, behavioral, and psychological correlates of trading sex for methamphetamine in a sample of HIV-negative heterosexual men and women who were enrolled in a sexual risk reduction intervention in San Diego, California. Of 342 participants, 26% overall (21% of males and 31% of females) reported trading sex for methamphetamine in the past two months. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that recently trading sex for methamphetamine was independently associated with being female, homeless, binging on methamphetamine, sexual victimization in the past two months, engaging in anal sex 24 or more times in the past two months, and higher sexual compulsivity scores. Effective interventions for this high-risk population should consider gender-focused counseling for sexual abuse, motivational enhancement therapy, social-cognitive skills training, as well as enhanced access and utilization of social services, including drug treatment.
sex trading; methamphetamine; heterosexual; sexual risk behavior
This study examined the association between sexual risk behavior and co-administration of methamphetamine with other drugs in a sample of 341 HIV-positive MSM. Those who reported methamphetamine co-administration in the past two months (65%) reported significantly more unprotected anal and oral sex and a greater number of casual, anonymous, and paid sex partners in this timeframe compared to men who used methamphetamine alone. Two primary patterns of co-administration were identified: 1) drug combinations motivated by sexual performance and enhancement (e.g., methamphetamine, poppers, sildenafil) and 2) “party drug” combinations (e.g., methamphetamine, GHB, ketamine). Implications for further research and possible applications to risk-reduction interventions are discussed.
Methamphetamine; polydrug use; sexual risk; men who have sex with men; HIV-positive
Female sex workers (FSW) are at increased risk for HIV and other STI due to occupation-related risks and exposures. Long-distance truck drivers have been implicated in the spread of HIV, but less is known about HIV/STI risks of FSW servicing truck drivers, especially in North America. As part of an international collaborative pilot study, we interviewed FSWs servicing truck driver clients along two major transportation corridors to explore factors associated with recent STI symptoms.
A cross-sectional study of 200 FSW was conducted in Mexico: 100 from Nuevo Laredo (U.S. border); 100 from Ciudad Hidalgo (Guatemalan border). Eligibility criteria included age ≥18 years, speaking English or Spanish, and having ≥1 truck driver client in the past month. The main outcome was reporting any recent STI symptoms, defined as experiencing genital/anal warts, genital ulcers/sores, genital itching, or abnormal vaginal discharge in the past 6 months. Logistic regression was used to identify correlates of recent STI symptoms.
Median age of FSW was 29 years, 74% were single, 87% had <9th grade education, and median income was 4000 pesos/month ($300 USD). Sex work occurred at a bar/cantina for 70%. One-quarter had never been tested for HIV, 53% reported lifetime drug use, 22% reported drinking alcohol before/during transactional sex and 17% reported recent STI symptoms. After controlling for age and study site, factors associated with STI symptoms were lifetime drug use (AOR 2.9, 95% CI 1.2-6.9), drug use before/during sex (AOR 2.8, 95% CI 1.1-7.1), alcohol use before/during sex (AOR 5.2, 95% CI 2.2, 12.6), forced sex ever (AOR 2.6, 95% CI 1.1-6.1), lifetime history of arrest (AOR 2.3, 95% CI 1.0-5.0), and being surveyed in Nuevo Laredo rather than Ciudad Hidalgo (AOR 4.8, 95% CI 2.0-10.0).
The associations we observed between recent STI symptoms and drug and alcohol use suggest that interventions are needed that promote consistent and effective safer sex practices, especially while under the influence of alcohol or other substances.
Sexually transmitted infections; Sexually transmitted diseases; Substance use; Alcohol; Drugs; Female sex workers
This study identified sociodemographic factors, drug using practices, sexual behaviors, and motivational factors associated with binge (a period of uninterrupted) methamphetamine (MA) use among heterosexual MA users.
Sample and Method
The FASTLANE study provided cross-sectional data collected by audio-CASI between June 2001 and August 2004 from 451 HIV-negative MA users in San Diego, CA USA who had engaged in unprotected sex and used MA in the previous two months.
The study sample was 67.8% male, 49.4% Caucasian, 26.8% African-American, and 12.8% Hispanic with a mean age of 36.6 years; 183 (40.5%) reported binge use in the past 2 months. Compared with non-binge users, binge users of MA were more likely to report risky drug use and sex behaviors and differed in motivations to initiate and currently use MA. The final logistic regression model for binge use included more days of MA use in the last month, ever treated for MA use, injection drug use, higher Beck Depression Inventory score, “experimentation” as a motivation for initiating MA use, and engaging in sex marathons while high on MA. HIV prevention efforts should differentiate and address these differences in motivations for MA use and the associated HIV-risk sex and drug use behaviors as key targets for effective intervention.
methamphetamine; binge; drug use; motivations; intensity
Although rates of methamphetamine use continue to increase throughout the United States, little is known about the individuals who sell methamphetamine at the street level. This exploratory study examined the prevalence and correlates of drug-dealing behavior in a sample of 404 heterosexually-identified methamphetamine users who were participants in a sexual risk reduction intervention in San Diego, CA. Twenty-nine percent of participants (N = 116) reported “dealing” methamphetamine in the past two months. In a multivariate logistic regression, methamphetamine dealing was associated with being male (OR = 1.99; 95% CI 1.16 – 3.39), younger age (OR = 1.87 per year; 95% CI 1.10 – 3.17), more frequent use of methamphetamine (OR = 2.69; 95% CI 1.59 – 4.57), injecting methamphetamine (OR = 3.10; 95% CI 1.79 – 5.37), and higher hostility scores (OR = 1.07 per unit increase; 95% CI 1.01 – 1.13). These characteristics, particularly intensity of drug use and hostility, may be associated with greater resistance to drug treatment and lower success in treatment programs.
Behavioral activation and avoidance are well studied in depression, yet the relationship of these constructs to symptoms, cognitive ability and functioning in schizophrenia is poorly understood. In a sample of 73 middle-aged and older outpatients with schizophrenia (mean age=50.3, sd=6.3), we examined the relationship of the Activation and Avoidance subscales of the Behavioral Activation for Depression Scale with measures of psychopathology (Positive and Negative Symptoms, Depression), global cognitive ability, and global cognitive ability, and functioning (observer-rated, performance-based, and subjective functioning). Neither activation nor avoidance related to sociodemographic variables, age of onset, or anti-psychotic dose. Although activation and avoidance were significantly inter-correlated, only behavioral activation was significantly associated with depression and subjective functioning, whereas only avoidance related to negative symptoms. Avoidance accounted for significant variation in observer-rated functioning after adjusting for cognitive ability. These results suggest that activation and avoidance may be important therapeutic targets in schizophrenia, with somewhat divergent pathways among psychopathologic features to functional impairment.
Schizophrenia; psychosis; activation; avoidance; depression; functioning