BMC infectious diseases 2016 08 2716(1) 455 doi 10.1186/s12879-016-1749-y
Crack cocaine use is known to contribute to poor adherence to antiretroviral medications; however, little is known about facilitators of or barriers to effective HIV treatment use among HIV-infected crack cocaine users. We sought to identify correlates of optimal pharmacy refill adherence for antiretroviral medications and plasma HIV RNA viral load (pVL) suppression among this population.
Data from a prospective cohort of HIV-positive people who use illicit drugs in Vancouver, Canada, were linked to comprehensive HIV clinical monitoring and pharmacy dispensation records. We used multivariable generalized linear mixed-effects modelling to longitudinally identify factors associated with ≥95 % adherence to pharmacy refills for antiretroviral medications and pVL <50 copies/mL among crack cocaine users exposed to highly-active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). RESULTS
Among 438 HAART-exposed crack cocaine users between 2005 and 2013, 240 (54.8 %) had ≥95 % pharmacy refill adherence in the previous 6 months at baseline. In multivariable analyses, homelessness (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]: 0.58), ≥daily crack cocaine smoking (AOR: 0.64), and ≥ daily heroin use (AOR: 0.43) were independently associated with optimal pharmacy refill adherence (all p < 0.05). The results for pVL non-detectability were consistent with those of medication adherence, except that longer history of HAART (AOR: 1.06), receiving a single tablet-per-day regimen (AOR: 3.02) and participation in opioid substitution therapies was independently associated with pVL non-detectability (AOR: 1.55) (all p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS
Homelessness, and daily crack cocaine and/or heroin use were independently and negatively associated with optimal HAART-related outcomes. With the exception of opioid substitution therapies, no addiction treatment modalities assessed appeared to facilitate medication adherence or viral suppression. Evidence-based treatment options for crack cocaine use that also confer benefits to HAART need to be developed.