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Incarceration and health outcomes in HIV-infected patients: the impact of substance use, primary care engagement, and antiretroviral adherence.

Wang EA, McGinnis KA, Long JB, Akgün KM, Edelman EJ, Rimland D, Wang KH, Justice AC, Fiellin DA. Incarceration and health outcomes in HIV-infected patients: the impact of substance use, primary care engagement, and antiretroviral adherence. The American journal on addictions. 2015 Mar 1; 24(2):178-84.

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Abstract:

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: One in seven HIV-infected individuals is incarcerated each year. We used data from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) to explore the relationship between incarceration and HIV disease outcomes and evaluate potential mediators of this relationship. METHODS: HIV disease outcomes included: low CD4 counts ( < 200 cells/mL), detectable viral RNA loads ( > 500 copies/mL), and the VACS Index score. We performed a mediation analysis among 1,591 HIV-infected patients to examine whether unhealthy alcohol use, drug use, primary care engagement, or antiretroviral adherence mediated observed associations. RESULTS: Among 1,591 HIV-infected patients, 47% reported having a history of incarceration. In multivariate analyses, a history of incarceration was associated with a higher VACS Index score (ß 2.47, 95% CI 0.52-4.43). Mediation analysis revealed that recent drug use attenuated the association by 22% (ß 1.93, 95% CI -0.06, 3.91) while other proposed mediators did not. CONCLUSIONS AND SCIENTIFIC SIGNIFICANCE: Improving access to drug treatment when incarcerated and upon release may be an important target to improving the health of HIV-infected individuals with a history of incarceration. (Am J Addict 2015;24:178-184).





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