Substance use and HIV stage at entry into care among people with HIV

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Parrish, Canada
Whitney, Bridget M.
Nance, Robin M.
Puttkammer, Nancy
Fishman, Paul
Christopoulos, Katerina
Fleming, Julia
Heath, Sonya
Mathews, William C.
Chander, Geetanjali
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Abstract Background Information regarding the impact of substance use on the timing of entry into HIV care is lacking. Better understanding of this relationship can help guide approaches and policies to improve HIV testing and linkage. Methods We examined the effect of specific substances on stage of HIV disease at entry into care in over 5000 persons with HIV (PWH) newly enrolling in care. Substance use was obtained from the AUDIT-C and ASSIST instruments. We examined the association between early entry into care and substance use (high-risk alcohol, methamphetamine, cocaine/crack, illicit opioids, marijuana) using logistic and relative risk regression models adjusting for demographic factors, mental health symptoms and diagnoses, and clinical site. Results We found that current methamphetamine use, past and current cocaine and marijuana use was associated with earlier entry into care compared with individuals who reported no use of these substances. Conclusion Early entry into care among those with substance use suggests that HIV testing may be differentially offered to people with known HIV risk factors, and that individuals with substances use disorders may be more likely to be tested and linked to care due to increased interactions with the healthcare system.
Archives of Public Health. 2021 Aug 28;79(1):153