AIDS and behavior 2017 09 08() doi 10.1007/s10461-017-1905-4
Questionnaires over a 9-year study period (2002-2010) were used to characterize cannabis, stimulant, and alcohol use among 3099 HIV-infected men participating in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) to determine whether use of these substances is associated with changes in the VACS Index, a validated prognostic indicator for all-cause mortality. At baseline, 18% of participants reported no substance use in the past year, 24% lower risk alcohol use only, 18% unhealthy alcohol use only, 15% cannabis use (with or without alcohol), and 24% stimulant use (with or without alcohol or cannabis). In adjusted longitudinal analyses, cannabis use [β = -0.97 (95% CI -1.93, 0.00), p = 0.048] was not associated with mortality risk, while stimulant use [1.08 (0.16, 2.00), p = 0.021] was associated with an increased mortality risk, compared to lower risk alcohol use. Our findings show no evidence of a negative effect of cannabis use on mortality risk, while stimulant use was associated with increased mortality risk among HIV-infected men. Interventions to reduce stimulant use in this patient population may reduce mortality.