The paper utilizes data collected at three time points in a longitudinal study of perinatally HIV-infected (PHIV+) and a comparison group of perinatally exposed but HIV-uninfected (PHEU) youths in the United States (N = 325). Using growth curve modeling, the paper examines changes in substance use symptoms among PHIV+ and PHEU youths as they transition through adolescence, and assesses the individual and contextual factors associated with the rate of change in substance use symptoms. Findings indicate that substance use symptoms increased over time among PHIV+ youths, but not among PHEU youths. The rate of change in these symptoms was positively associated with an increasing number of negative life events. Study findings underscore the need for early, targeted interventions for PHIV+ youths, and interventions to reduce adversities and their deleterious effects in vulnerable populations.
Changes in Substance Use Symptoms Across Adolescence in Youth Perinatally Infected with HIV.