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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2002 Dec 15;31 Suppl 3:S149-53.

Nonadherence among HIV-infected injecting drug users: the impact of social instability.

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Regional Center for Disease Control of Southeastern France (ORS PACA), Marseilles, France.


The authors tested the impact of social instability on adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) among patients infected with HIV through injection drug use (IDU; MANIF2000 cohort). In the study, they analyzed sociodemographic baseline characteristics to develop an indicator of social instability. Information concerning adherence to HAART was collected through questionnaires during a 2-year follow-up period. Factors associated with nonadherence were studied in two different groups: 1) patients who had stopped injection drug use (ex-IDUs) and who were not in drug maintenance programs (DMT) during the entire follow-up period, and 2) those who were still opiate dependent. Among the 210 eligible patients, 114 were classified as ex-IDUs and 96 as opiate dependent. Ex-IDUs reported nonadherence behaviors in 96 of 384 visits (25.0%), while opiate-dependent patients were nonadherent in 111 of 308 visits (36.0%; p = .02). Among ex-IDUs, the only factor associated with nonadherence was social instability, while among opiate-dependent patients, injection behavior was the only determinant of nonadherence behavior. For opiate-dependent patients, DMT may enhance adherence to HAART, but only if it is successful in reducing abuse of injection practices. For ex-IDUs, it is very important that the management of social difficulties be taken into account to increase adherence to HAART.

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