Given that alcohol and drug abuse heightens the risk of adolescents acquiring HIV, substance abuse treatment programs for youths may represent an important site of HIV prevention. In this research, we explored the adoption of three HIV-related health services: risk assessment during intake, HIV prevention programming, and HIV testing. Data were collection through telephone interviews with 149 managers of adolescent-only substance abuse treatment programs in the US. About half of these programs had adopted HIV risk assessment and HIV prevention. On-site HIV testing was less widely adopted, with only one in four programs offering this service. At the bivariate-level, the availability of on-site primary medical care and the availability of an overnight level of care were positively associated with these three types of services. The association for the measure of an overnight level of care was no longer significant once medical services were controlled. However, in a separate analysis, it was found that programs offering an overnight level of care care were much more likely to offer on-site medical care than outpatient-only facilities. There was also evidence that publicly-funded treatment programs were more likely to offer HIV prevention and on-site HIV testing, after controlling for other organizational characteristics. Much more research about the adoption of HIV-related services in adolescent substance abuse treatment is needed, particularly to offer greater insight into why certain types of organizations are more likely to adopt these health services.
substance abuse treatment; HIV prevention; HIV testing; health services research
The present study assesses the impact of methamphetamine (METH) on antiretroviral (ART) adherence among HIV+ persons, as well as examines the contribution of neurocognitive impairment and other neuropsychiatric factors (i.e., major depressive disorder (MDD), Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD), and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD)) for ART nonadherence. We examined HIV+ persons with DSM-IV-diagnosed lifetime history of METH abuse/dependence (HIV+/METH+; n = 67) as compared to HIV+ participants with no history of METH abuse/dependence (HIV+/METH−; n = 50). Ancillary analyses compared these groups with a small group of HIV+/METH+ persons with current METH abuse/dependence (HIV+/CU METH+; n = 8). Nonadherence was defined as self-report of any skipped ART dose in the last four days. Neurocognitive functioning was assessed with a comprehensive battery, covering seven neuropsychological domains. Lifetime METH diagnosis was associated with higher rates of detectable levels of plasma and CSF HIV RNA. When combing groups (i.e., METH+ and METH− participants), univariate analyses indicated co-occurring ADHD, ASPD, and MDD predicted ART nonadherence (p’s<0.10; not lifetime METH status or neurocognitive impairment). A significant multivariable model including these variables indicated that only MDD uniquely predicted ART nonadherence after controlling for the other variables (p<0.05). Ancillary analyses indicated that current METH users (use within 30 days) were significantly less adherent (50% prevalence of nonadherence) than lifetime METH+ users and HIV+/METH-participants, and that neurocognitive impairment was associated with nonadherence (p’s<0.05). METH use disorders are associated with worse HIV disease outcomes and ART medication nonadherence. Interventions often target substance use behaviors alone to enhance antiretroviral treatment outcomes; however, in addition to targeting substance use behaviors, interventions to improve ART adherence may also need to address coexisting neuropsychiatric factors and cognitive impairment to improve ART medication taking.
HIV/AIDS; Cognition; Medication Adherence; Antiretroviral; Methamphetamine
There is a growing imperative to improve the coordination and collaboration of TB and HIV healthcare services in response to escalating rates of TB/HIV coinfection. Patient-specific challenges associated with the delivery of TB/HIV care have been minimally explored in this regard. As part of a larger study conducted in South Africa, this article highlights coinfected patients’ experiences with TB and HIV healthcare in light of their broader social environments. Qualitative, in-depth interviews were conducted with 40 adult, coinfected patients (24 women, 16 men) and 8 key-informant healthcare workers at 3 urban/peri-urban, ambulatory, public health clinics in the high-burden province of KwaZulu-Natal. Transcribed interviews were analyzed under a modified grounded theory approach to capture subjective meanings of healthcare experience subsequent to patients’ co-diagnosis with TB and HIV. Emerging analytic themes highlighted critical sociomedical constraints to TB/HIV care in relation to patients’ income and employment, eligibility for social assistance and antiretroviral treatment, fears around illness disclosure, social and material support, and treatment adherence. Patients’ healthcare experiences were bound by their poor access to essential resources, multiple life responsibilities, disparate gender roles, limits within the healthcare system and the stigmatizing social symbolism of their illness. Overlapping social inequalities perpetuated coinfected patients’ experiences with stigma and collectively mediated their health decisions around disclosure, adherence and retention in medical care. The study urges a contextualized understanding of the social challenges associated with TB/HIV healthcare, and helps inform more patient-sensitive and socially-responsive interventions against the co-epidemic.
To reduce non-injection drug use (NIDU) among HIV primary care patients, more than single brief interventions may be needed, but clinic resources are often too limited for extended interventions. To extend brief Motivational Interviewing (MI) to reduce NIDU, we designed and conducted a pilot study of “HealthCall”, consisting of brief (1–3 min) daily patient calls reporting NIDU and health behaviors to a telephone-based Interactive Voice Response system, which provided data for subsequent personalized feedback. Urban HIV adult clinic patients reporting ≥ 4 days of NIDU in the past month were randomized to two groups: MI-only (n=20), or MI+HealthCall (n=20). At 30 and 60 days, patients were assessed and briefly discussed their NIDU behaviors with counselors. The outcome was days used primary drug. Medical marijuana issues precluded HealthCall with patients whose primary substance was marijuana (n=7); excluding these, 33 remained, of whom 28 patients (MI-only n=17; MI+HealthCall n=11) provided post-treatment data for analysis. Time significantly predicted reduction in days used in both groups (p<.0001). At 60 days, between-group differences approached trend level, with an effect size of 0.62 favoring the MI+HealthCall arm. This pilot study suggests that HealthCall is feasible and acceptable to patients in resource-limited HIV primary care settings, and can extend patient involvement in brief intervention with little additional staff time. A larger efficacy trial of HealthCall for NIDU-reduction in such settings is warranted.
HIV; treatment; drug use; IVR; brief intervention
Millions of children in sub-Saharan Africa undertake personal and medical care for family members who are unwell with AIDS. To date, no research has investigated whether such care provision places children at heightened risk for pulmonary tuberculosis. This study aimed to address this gap by identifying risk factors for pediatric pulmonary tuberculosis symptomatology. In 2009-2011, 6002 children aged 10-17 were surveyed using door-to-door household sampling of census enumeration areas. These were randomly sampled from six urban and rural sites with over 30% HIV prevalence, within South Africa's three highest tuberculosis burden provinces. Validated scales and clinical tuberculosis symptom checklists were modeled in multivariate logistic regressions, controlling for sociodemographic co-factors. Findings showed that, among children, severe pulmonary tuberculosis symptomatology was predicted by primary caregiver HIV/AIDS-illness (OR1.63 CI1.23-2.15 p<.001), and AIDS-orphanhood (OR1.44 CI1.04-2.00, p<.029). Threefold increases in severe tuberculosis symptoms were predicted by the child's exposure to body fluids through providing personal or medical care to an ill adult (OR3.12 CI1.96-4.95, p<.001). Symptoms were also predicted by socioeconomic factors of food insecurity (OR 1.52 CI1.15-2.02, p<.003) and household overcrowding (OR1.35 CI1.06-1.72, p<.017). Percentage probability of severe tuberculosis symptoms rose from 1.4% amongst least-exposed children, to 18.1% amongst those exposed to all above-stated risk factors, independent of biological relationship of primary caregiver-child and other sociodemographics. Amongst symptomatic children, 75% had never been tested for tuberculosis. These findings identify the risk of tuberculosis among children providing home medical care to their unwell caregivers, and suggest that there are gaps in the health system to screen and detect these cases of pediatric tuberculosis. There is a need for effective interventions to reduce childhood risk, as well as further support for community-based contact-tracing, tuberculosis screening and anti-tuberculosis treatment for children caring for ill adults in contexts with a high burden of HIV and tuberculosis.
Pulmonary Tuberculosis; HIV; Acquired Human Immunodeficiency Syndrome; Child; South Africa
This study aimed to build formative knowledge regarding labor migrants' wives' knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding HIV/AIDS risk and protection that would inform developing innovative HIV prevention strategies. This was a collaborative ethnography in Tajikistan that included minimally structured interviews and focused field observations with 30 Tajik wives in Dushanbe married to Tajik male migrant workers currently working in Moscow. The results documented the wives' concerns over their husbands’ safety in Moscow and the difficulties of living without husbands. In a male-dominated society, gender norms limit the wives' abilities to protect themselves and their husbands from HIV/AIDS. They have some awareness of HIV/AIDS, but limited abilities to speak about sexual activity, HIV/AIDS, condoms, and HIV testing. Wives do not use condoms with their husbands and depend upon their husband's role as their protector. Wives often turn for support to their “circle of friends” or to a primary care nurse for support, but seldom do these relationships focus on preventing HIV/AIDS. To respond to HIV/AIDS risks amongst the wives of Tajik male migrant workers in Moscow, preventive interventions could build upon migrants' wives' role as the primary family caregiver and their existing sources of social support from women's circles and nurses. The overall intervention strategy could be to expand their role as family caregivers to include HIV/AIDS protection, through enhancing their HIV/AIDS knowledge and prevention skills and negotiation strategies with their husbands.
This study aims to investigate health care providers’ empathy levels and its association with avoidance in providing service to patients living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in China. A total of 1760 health service providers were randomly sampled from 40 county hospitals in two provinces of China. Using a self-administered questionnaire, participants’ demographic characteristics, work history, empathy level, and avoidance attitudes toward PLWHA were collected in a cross-sectional survey. Empathy was higher among participants aged 31–40 years, those who had an associated medical degree, and those who had served in the medical profession for less than 20 years. Nurses, younger providers, and providers with lower education tended to avoid contact with PLWHA. Multiple linear regression model showed that a higher level of empathic attitude toward patients was significantly negatively associated with avoidance attitude toward PLWHA. Service providers’ empathy level plays an important role in providing quality care to HIV-infected patients. Future stigma reduction interventions should cultivate empathy as a platform for understanding, effective communication, and trusting provider–patient relationships. PLWHA could potentially benefit from attitudinal change in medical settings.
empathy; HIV/AIDS; stigma; service provider
The objective of this paper is to psychometrically validate the HIV Symptom Distress Scale (SDS), an instrument that can be used to measure overall HIV symptom distress or clinically relevant groups of HIV symptoms. A secondary data analysis was conducted using the Collaborations in HIV Outcomes Research U.S. Cohort (CHORUS). Inclusion criteria required study participants (N=5,521) to have a valid baseline measure of the AIDS Clinical Trial Group Symptom Distress Module, with an SF-12 or SF-36 completed on the same day. Psychometric testing assessed unidimensionality, internal consistency and factor structure using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, and structural equation modeling (SEM). Construct validity examined whether the new measure discriminates across clinical significance (CD4 and HIV viral load). Findings show that the SDS has high reliability (α=0.92), and SEM supports a correlated second-order factor model (physical and mental distress) with acceptable fit (GFI=0.88, AGFI=0.85, NFI=0.99, NNFI=0.99; RMSEA=0.06, [90% CI 0.06 – 0.06]; Satorra Bentler Scaled, C2 =3274.20; p=0.0). Construct validity shows significant differences across categories for HIV-1 viral load (p< 0.001) and CD4 (p< 0.001). Differences in mean SDS scores exist across gender (p< 0.001), race/ethnicity (p< 0.05) and educational attainment (p < 0.001). Hence, the HIV Symptom Distress Scale is a reliable and valid instrument, which measures overall HIV symptoms or clinically relevant groups of symptoms.
Coercion is consistently reported as a risk factor for HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. Because of the gendered nature of previous research however, little is known about male victims or female perpetrators. To address this gap, we report survey data from 354 sexually experienced secondary school students in Mbarara, Uganda. Findings suggest that females are more likely to report involvement in coercive sex compared to males (66% vs. 56% respectively). Of those involved, females are most likely to report being a victim-only (40%) and males, perpetrator-victims (32%). Although involvement in violent and coercive sex is gendered, 47% of males report victim experiences and 25% of females report perpetration behavior. Furthermore, about one in ten female and male perpetrators reported using physical force or threats to compel sex. When all potentially influential factors were considered simultaneously, several characteristics seem to differentiate youth by their coercive sex (in)experience. For example, victims are more likely to have lower levels of social support from their families, and feel that they have an above average or very strong chance of getting HIV compared to otherwise similar youth with no experience with coercive sex. Perpetrators are more likely to have had an HIV test but use condoms less than half the time or never compared to their otherwise similar, yet uninvolved peers. They also are significantly more likely to report dating violence perpetration. Perpetrator-victims share some similarities with other experienced youth, as well as some differences. Findings underscore both the importance of asking all youth, irrespective of biological sex, perpetrator and victimization questions; and also the need for more work to be done to help youth plan for a healthy and wanted first sexual experience.
Coercive sex; adolescents; Uganda; developing country
The incidence of heterosexual HIV transmission continues to increase in the US. However, little is known about factors that influence high-risk behavior among men who do not have sex with men (MDSM). This study examines the association of childhood sexual abuse and high-risk behaviors among MDSM. The Coping with HIV/AIDS in the Southeast (CHASE) study included 611 HIV-positive individuals in the Southeastern U.S. Bivariate statistics were used to examine the influence of childhood sexual abuse among MDSM, MSM, and women. Study findings indicated that among MDSM with HIV, childhood sexual abuse predicted a higher number of sexual partners, alcohol and drug use problems, depression, PTSD, and less trust in medical providers. Similar statistically significant relationships between childhood sexual abuse and negative outcomes were not found for MSM and women with the exception of childhood sexual abuse predicting PTSD and alcohol use in women. Study findings indicate a need for more in-depth research to examine the role of childhood sexual abuse in shaping adult risk behaviors among MDSM as well as a need to assess for and address childhood sexual abuse in this population.
A cluster randomized controlled trial was initiated in Kenya to determine if full integration (FI) of HIV care, including HAART, into antenatal care (ANC) clinics improves health outcomes among HIV-infected women and exposed infants, compared to a non-integrated (NI) model. This paper examines ANC clients’ satisfaction with and preferences regarding HIV-integrated services. In this cross-sectional study, pregnant women attending five FI clinics (n=185) and four NI clinics (n=141) completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire following an ANC visit. By self-report, 55 women (17%) were HIV(+), 230 (71%) were HIV(−) and 40 (12%) did not know their HIV status. Among HIV-infected women, 79% attending FI clinics were very satisfied with their clinic visit compared to 54% of women attending NI clinics (P=0.044); no such difference was found among HIV-uninfected women. In multivariate analysis, overall satisfaction was also independently associated with satisfaction with administrative staff, satisfaction with health care providers, positive evaluation of wait time, and having encountered a receptionist. Full integration of HIV care into antenatal clinics can significantly increase overall satisfaction with care for HIV-infected women, with no significant decrease in satisfaction for HIV-uninfected women served in the same clinics.
patient satisfaction; HIV; antenatal care; service integration; Kenya
The role of specific psychiatric diagnoses in emergency department use and/or inpatient hospitalizations (acute care) has not been extensively examined among HIV-infected, unstably housed persons. A community-recruited sample of 284 HIV-infected, unstably housed adults completed the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for DSM-IV. One-third of participants screened positive for major depression and stimulant use disorders. Sleeping on the street (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR] = 4.21), major depression (AOR=2.88) and stimulant use disorders (AOR=4.45) were associated with greater odds of acute care use. Housing and effective treatment of depression and stimulant use disorders may decrease use of acute care services in this population.
HIV/AIDS; homelessness; depression; stimulant abuse; health care utilization; acute care
HIV-infected infants and young children are at high risk of serious illness and death. Morbidity and mortality can be greatly reduced through early infant diagnosis (EID) of HIV and timely initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART). Despite global efforts to scale-up of EID and infant ART, uptake of these services in resource poor, high HIV burden countries remains low. We conducted a qualitative study of 59 HIV-infected women to identify and explore barriers women face in accessing HIV testing and care for their infants. To capture different perspectives, we included mothers whose infants were known positive (n=9) or known negative (n=14), mothers of infants with unknown HIV status (n=13), and pregnant HIV-infected women (n=20). Five important themes emerged: lack of knowledge regarding EID and infant ART, the perception of health care workers as authority figures, fear of disclosure of own and/or child’s HIV status, lack of psychosocial support, and intent to shorten the life of the child. A complex array of cultural, economic and psychosocial factors creates barriers for HIV-infected women to participate in early infant HIV testing and care programs. For optimal impact of EID and infant ART, reasons for poor uptake should be better understood and addressed in a culturally sensitive manner.
HIV; HIV testing; barriers; infants; children; early infant diagnosis
While HIV counseling and testing (HCT) has been considered an HIV preventive measure in Africa, data are limited describing behavior changes following HCT. This study evaluated behavior changes and estimated HIV seroincidence rate among returning HCT clients. Repeat and one-time testing clients receiving HCT services in Moshi, Tanzania were identified. Information about sociodemographic characteristics, HIV behaviors and testing reasons were collected, along with HIV testing. 6,727 clients presented at least once for HCT; 1,235 (18.4%) were HIV seropositive, median age was 29.7 years and 3,712 (55.3%) were women. 1,382 repeat and 4,272 one-time testers were identified. Repeat testers were more likely to be male, older, married or widowed, and testing because of unfaithful partner or new sexual partner. One-time testers were more likely to be students and testing due to illness. At second test, repeat testers were more likely to report that partners had received HIV testing, not have concurrent partners, not suspect partners have HIV, and have partners who did not have other partners. Clients who intended to change behaviors after the first test were more likely to report having changed behaviors by remaining abstinent (OR 2.58; p<0.0001) or using condoms (OR 2.00; p=0.006) at the second test. HIV seroincidence rate was 1.49 cases/100 person-years. Clients presenting for repeat HCT reported some reduction of risky behavior, improved knowledge of sexual practices and HIV serostatus of their partners. Promoting behavior change through HCT should continue to be a focus of HIV prevention efforts in sub-Saharan Africa.
Tanzania; HIV; behavior; incidence; diagnosis
Despite expanding sexually transmitted epidemics in South China, the majority of patients presenting to sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinics are not routinely screened for HIV infection. Identifying barriers to offering HIV testing among STI care providers is an important public health priority. The aim of this study was to investigate the frequency of offering HIV testing among STI care providers in South China and reported physician barriers to offering HIV testing. More detailed operational data regarding HIV test offer frequency and barriers to testing may enhance routine HIV testing at STI clinics. A sample of 62 STI care providers within the Pearl River Delta Region of South China completed a survey including socio-demographic and training background information (including sex, age, medical education, year of terminal medical degree, HIV-specific training), reasons for not offering HIV testing routinely, and physical examination and sexual history taking practices. Frequency of offering HIV testing was calculated based on reports from research assistants and operational data. STI care providers offered HIV testing to 3011/10592 (28.4%) of their patients. There was substantial variability across providers in the frequency of offering testing, ranging from 3% to 100%. None of the identified physician factors were associated with offering HIV testing 100% of the time in the multivariate model. The most commonly physician reported barriers to HIV testing included: 1) low perceived prevalence of disease; and 2) not recommended by current guidelines. Forty-seven providers (76%) reported asking about same sex behaviors rarely or never. Further research on HIV screening practices of STI care providers may help scale up HIV provider-initiated testing and counseling programs.
This study uses the baseline (wave 1) data from a 4-year (2008-2012) longitudinal study called the Suubi-Maka family economic empowerment intervention for AIDS-orphaned children in Uganda funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (Grant # RMH081763A). Specifically, using baseline data from the Suubi-Maka study, this paper provides a contextualized understanding of depression levels among caregivers for AIDS-orphaned children in two rural communities heavily affected by AIDS in Uganda: Rakai and Masaka districts. Using baseline data collected from caregivers of children orphaned by AIDS (N=297) the study examines the factors that influence reported depression levels of caregivers of AIDS-orphaned children in rural communities of Uganda. We specifically use OLS regression methods. In the analysis we control for several demographic factors, including age, gender, assets, social support, and caregiving status. We find that caregivers’ reported economic status and social support system are highly correlated with caregivers’ reported depression scores. Specifically, caregivers with cash savings and a strong family support system reported better depression scores. These findings have implications for community development practice and programming. Specifically, the study highlights a need for family economic empowerment programs and, strengthened family support among caregivers for AIDS-orphaned children, especially those caregivers with reported poor mental health functioning.
Depression; mental health; HIV/AIDS; care giving; orphans; Uganda
HIV testing services and research among drug users has largely focused on injection drug users (IDUs); yet non-injection drug users (NIDUS) are also at increased risk for HIV due to high-risk sexual behaviors and overlapping networks with IDUs. This study examined drug use, sexual risk, and social network characteristics associated with recent HIV testing (testing within past year) among NIDUs. Interviewer-administered questionnaires were conducted among 418 NIDUs and log-binomial regression models were used to identify correlates of recent HIV testing. Prevalence ratios (PR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were reported. Nearly 97% of NIDUs reported having ever been tested for HIV and most participants (85.7%) indicated testing for HIV within the past year. Factors independently associated with recent HIV testing were higher educational attainment (PR: 1.86; 95% CI: 1.03, 3.34) and networks to discuss health and medical services (PR: 1.84; 95% CI: 1.06, 1.20). A prior positive sexually transmitted infection was associated with decreased likelihood of recent HIV test (PR: 0.43; 95% CI 0.25, 0.74). Identifying specific social network characteristics may be effective in facilitating HIV testing and prevention strategies targeting NIDUs.
HIV testing; non-injection drug users; HIV/AIDS prevention; drug abuse; social support; social networks
As HIV research and prevention efforts increasingly target gay men in relationships, situational factors such as couple serostatus and agreements about sex become central to examinations of risk. Discordant gay couples are of particular interest because the risk of HIV infection is seemingly near-at-hand. Yet little is known about their sexual behaviors, agreements about sex, and safer sex efforts. The present study utilized longitudinal semi-structured, qualitative interviews to explore these issues among 12 discordant couples. Findings show that nearly every couple had agreements about reducing the likelihood of HIV transmission from one partner to the other. Negotiating these agreements involved establishing a level of acceptable risk, determining condom use, and employing other risk-reduction techniques, such as seropositioning and withdrawal. For half of the couples, these agreements did not involve using condoms; only two couples reported consistent condom use. Despite forgoing condoms, however, none reported seroconversion over the course of data collection. Additional issues are raised where long-term HIV prevention is concerned. Future prevention efforts with discordant couples should work with, rather than fight against, the couple’s decision to use condoms and endeavor to complement and accentuate their other safer sex efforts.
gay couples; discordant couples; HIV risk; safer sex; safety agreements
Individuals who disclose their sexual orientation are more likely to also disclose their HIV status. Disclosure of HIV-serostatus is associated with better health outcomes. The goal of this study was to build and test comprehensive models of sexual orientation that included 8 theory-informed predictors of disclosure to mothers, fathers, and closest friends in a sample of HIV-positive Latino gay and bisexual men. US acculturation, gender non-conformity to hegemonic masculinity in self-presentation, comfort with sexual orientation, gay community involvement, satisfaction with social support, sexual orientation and gender of the closest friend emerged as significant predictors of disclosure of sexual orientation.
sexual orientation disclosure; Latino MSM; HIV-positive; acculturation
Little is known about the immunological and virological impact of diagnosis disclosure among HIV-positive children and adolescents. The current cross-sectional study examined medication hiding as a mediator of the relationship between disclosure to friends and three medical outcomes: CD4+ absolute count, CD4+ percentage, and viral load. Participants included 25 perinatally-infected, HIV-positive children and adolescents ages 11 to 18 years from the U.S. Diagnosis disclosure and medication hiding were self-reported by participants and medical markers were derived from blood samples drawn during the same clinic visit. Bootstrapping analyses revealed that disclosure to at least one friend (versus no friends) was associated with less medication hiding, which was associated with higher CD4+ absolute counts and percentages but not viral load. Further, among the subset of participants who had disclosed to at least one friend (n=19), those who reported disclosing to 11 or more versus 1–10 friends were less likely to hide medication taking, which was associated with higher CD4+ absolute counts. Findings suggest HIV-positive children and adolescents’ diagnosis disclosure to friends corresponds to less medication hiding, ultimately yielding better immune functioning. Health care providers should be cognizant of these potential medical benefits associated with disclosure when offering support around disclosure decision-making.
pediatric HIV; disclosure; HAART; medical functioning
The objectives of this cross-sectional study were to compare sociodemographic and risk behavior characteristics between black men who have sex with both men and women (MSMW) and those who have sex with men only (MSMO) and assess factors associated with having any unprotected vaginal and/or anal intercourse (UVAI) with women in the last 3 months. Data from 326 black men who reported recent unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) with a man in an HIV behavioral intervention study in New York City were analyzed. Baseline characteristics were compared between MSMW and MSMO, and factors associated with having any UVAI in the past 3 months with women among MSMW were evaluated. In total, 26.8% reported having sex with both men and women in the last 3 months. MSMW were less likely to be HIV-infected, use amyl nitrates, and have unprotected receptive anal sex with most recent male partner. MSMW were more likely to be over 40 years old and use heroin. 55.6% of MSMW reported having UVAI with women in the last 3 months. Compared to MSMW having only protected sex, MSMW having any UVAI with women were less likely to be HIV-infected and to disclose having sex with men to female partners; they were more likely to have greater than 4 male sex partners in the last 3 months. In conclusion, HIV prevention interventions among black MSMW should directly address the risk of HIV transmission to both their female and male partners. Disclosure of bisexuality to female partners may be an important component of future prevention efforts.
Black MSMW; men who have sex with men and women; bisexuality; HIV/AIDS
Psychosocial counselors have a vital and challenging role in supporting persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH/A) to better manage their disease. However, gaps in training, education, and skills limit the effectiveness of counselors’ efforts. We propose that the use of a decision-support tool for counselors at the point of care can support them in their work as well as help alleviate many training and practice gaps. Decision-support tools aimed at reducing knowledge and practice gaps are used extensively to assist clinical providers at the point of care; however, there is a need for decision-support tools designed specifically for HIV/AIDS counselors. To identify requirements for such a tool, we conducted a needs assessment through interviews of 19 HIV/AIDS clinic counselors who provide 20 or more hours per week of psychosocial support to PLWH/A. The assessment explored their education and training backgrounds, the extent to which evidence-based practices are implemented, and how a decision-support tool can support counselor work practices. Qualitative analysis was organized around seven main categories: counselor characteristics, patient characteristics, barriers, definitions of key concepts, use of guidelines, client assessments, and resources. The resulting coding schemes revealed knowledge and practice gaps among the interviewees, as well as barriers and challenges of counseling. Education and training background of the counseling staff varied widely. When asked to define five key concepts related to HIV counseling, 26–47% of respondents were unable to articulate an adequate definition. Less than half of the interviewees recalled sources of guidelines used in their work and specific models of care introduced during trainings. Interviews identified environmental barriers, language and literacy, patient education, and patient communication as the most prominent challenges to counseling work. The results from this study inform the need for and development of a decision-support tool to support the training and practices of HIV/AIDS counselors.
care; decision-support system; evidence-based medicine; counseling; needs assessment
Recent studies suggest that people living with HIV with lower viral load are at reduced risk for transmitting HIV to their sexual partners. As information about the association between viral load and risk for HIV transmission disseminates throughout high-risk communities, viral load discussions may be used more often as a risk reduction strategy. The overall purpose of this study was to determine the frequency of viral load discussions and unprotected anal intercourse in primary and casual sexual partnerships among men who have sex with men (MSM). An online survey was completed by 326 MSM (82% Caucasian, 62% college educated, 7% HIV-positive or thought they were HIV positive) in January, 2011. Results showed that viral load discussions occurred in 93% of primary partnerships in which at least one partner was HIV-positive; UAI was reported with 46% of all primary partners and 25% of serodiscordant primary partners with whom viral load was discussed. Viral load discussions occurred in 53% of the three most recent sexual episodes with casual sex partners with whom participants had either sex with once or had sex with multiple times in the past 3 months. UAI was more common in sexual encounters with casual sex partners when viral load was not discussed than when viral load was discussed (75% v. 56% of encounters). The finding that casual sexual episodes that did not include viral load discussions had a higher percentage of UAI than those that did include viral load discussions suggests either that men who do not discuss viral load may be higher risk-takers than men who do, or that the former are less adept at negotiating safer sex with casual sex partners than men who do discuss viral load. More research is needed to understand the role of viral load discussions in negotiating sexual activities among MSM.
Our research aims were to: 1) assess the prevalence of two condom use problems: breakage or slippage and partial use (delayed application or early removal) among men who have sex with men (MSM) seeking services in urban U.S. STD clinics; and 2) examine the association between these condom use problems and participant, partner and partnership characteristics. Analysis is restricted to HIV-negative MSM who reported having anal sex at least once in the preceding 3 months and who completed both the baseline and 3-month follow-up assessments. Two models were fitted using the GEE approach. A total of 263 MSM (median age=32 years) reported 990 partnerships. Partnerships with no condom use 422 (42.6%) were excluded. Thus, 207 MSM and 568 partnerships were included. Among condom users, 100% use was reported within 454 partnerships (79.9%) and <100% within 114 (20.1%), and 21(3.7%) reported both condom use problems, 25 (4.4%) reported only breakage, 67 (11.8%) reported only partial use, and 455 (80.1%) reported no errors. The breakage or slippage and partial use rates per condom used were 3.4% and 11.2%, respectively. A significantly higher rate of breakage or slippage occurred among non-main partnerships. Characteristics associated with increased odds for condom breakage or slippage were: lower education level (OR=2.78; CI: 1.1-7.5), non-main partner status (OR=4.1; CI: 1.5-11.7), and drunk or high during sex (OR=2.0; CI: 1.1-3.8), and for partial use: lower education level (OR=2.6; CI: 1.0-6.6), perceived partner STI risk (OR=2.4; CI:1.3-4.2), and inconsistent condom use (OR=3.7; CI:2.0-6.6). A high percentage of MSM partnerships reported no condom use and among condom users, a sizable proportion did not use them consistently or correctly. MSM may benefit from interventions designed to increase proficiency for condom use with a particular focus on the behaviors of inconsistent and partial condom use.
As the pediatric HIV epidemic in resource-rich countries evolves into an adolescent epidemic, there is a substantive need for studies elucidating mental health needs of perinatally HIV-infected (PHIV+) youth as they transition through adolescence. This article examines the role of perinatal HIV infection in influencing mental health by comparing changes in psychiatric disorders and substance use disorders (SUD) in perinatally HIV-infected (PHIV+) and perinatally HIV-exposed, but uninfected (PHIV−) youth over time. Participants were recruited from four medical centers in New York City. Individual interviews were administered at baseline and 18-month follow-up to 166 PHIV+ and 114 PHIV-youth (49% male, age 9–16 at baseline). Youth psychiatric disorder was assessed using the caregiver and youth versions of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (DISC-IV). Over two-thirds of participants met criteria for at least one psychiatric disorder at either baseline or follow-up, with few group differences. Among PHIV+ youth, there was a significant decrease in the prevalence of any psychiatric disorder, as well as anxiety disorders specifically over time, while prevalence of any psychiatric disorder among PHIV− youth remained the same and mood disorders increased. Rates of SUD were low in both groups, increasing slightly by follow-up. PHIV+ youth reported more use of mental health services at follow-up. CD4 count and HIV RNA Viral Load were not associated with presence or absence of disorder at either time point. In conclusion, among PHIV+ and PHIV− youth, rates of psychiatric disorder were high, even compared to other vulnerable populations, suggesting that factors other than perinatal HIV infection may be important determinants of mental health. PHIV+ youth were more likely to improve over the observation period. The data underscore the critical need for mental health interventions for both PHIV+ and PHIV− youth.
pediatric HIV; adolescence; psychiatric disorder; substance use disorder