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AIDS Care. 2014 Apr;26(4):459-65. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2013.832724. Epub 2013 Sep 9.

Relationship between hunger, adherence to antiretroviral therapy and plasma HIV RNA suppression among HIV-positive illicit drug users in a Canadian setting.

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  • 1a British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS , St. Paul's Hospital , Vancouver , BC , Canada.

Abstract

Food insecurity may be a barrier to achieving optimal HIV treatment-related outcomes among illicit drug users. This study therefore, aimed to assess the impact of severe food insecurity, or hunger, on plasma HIV RNA suppression among illicit drug users receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART). A cross-sectional Multivariate logistic regression model was used to assess the potential relationship between hunger and plasma HIV RNA suppression. A sample of n = 406 adults was derived from a community-recruited open prospective cohort of HIV-positive illicit drug users, in Vancouver, British Columbia (BC), Canada. A total of 235 (63.7%) reported "being hungry and unable to afford enough food," and 241 (59.4%) had plasma HIV RNA < 50 copies/ml. In unadjusted analyses, self-reported hunger was associated with lower odds of plasma HIV RNA suppression (Odds Ratio = 0.59, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.39-0.90, p = 0.015). In multivariate analyses, this association was no longer significant after controlling for socio-demographic, behavioral, and clinical characteristics, including 95% adherence (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR] = 0.65, 95% CI: 0.37-1.10, p = 0.105). Multivariate models stratified by 95% adherence found that the direction and magnitude of this association was not significantly altered by the adherence level. Hunger was common among illicit drug users in this setting. Although, there was an association between hunger and lower likelihood of plasma HIV RNA suppression, this did not persist in adjusted analyses. Further research is warranted to understand the social-structural, policy, and physical factors shaping the HIV outcomes of illicit drug users.

PMID:
24015838
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC4064571
Free PMC Article
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