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HIV patients sticking with therapy longer, Medicaid data show

A large study based on Medicaid data identifies a clear trend of people staying on their HIV medications longer than they used to. “This represents a lot of people who are not dying and not infecting others,” said Dr. Ira Wilson, corresponding author of the new study in AIDS and chair of the department of Health Services Policy and Practice.  “These differences represent tremendous, very real benefit.” READ MORE

Curbing alcohol to fight HIV could save money in Kenya

Public health research shows that alcohol may be a factor in more than 13 percent of deaths due to infectious diseases, including HIV. Drinking undermines the fight against the virus in two main ways, researchers have found: it makes transmission through risky sex more likely and undermines health by relaxing the rigor with which infected people take virus-suppressing medicine. READ MORE

Review of Neighborhood Environments and Sexual Risk Behaviors for HIV Infection in U.S. Women

The associations between neighborhood environments and HIV sexual risk behaviors among U.S. women are mixed, according to a new review published in AIDS and Behavior and led by Chanelle Howe, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology. READ MORE

Long Term Alcohol Use Patterns Associated with HIV Disease Severity

Long-term patters of alcohol use are associated with HIV disease severity, according to a new study led by Brandon Marshall, Manning Assistant Professor of Epidemiology. Between 2002 and 2010, the researchers assessed alcohol consumption and HIV disease severity among men and women infected with HIV participating in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study. The results of this study, published in AIDS, suggest that long-term alcohol consumption and HIV disease severity are linked and interrelated in this group of veterans infected with HIV.  READ MORE

Effectiveness of Peer-Led Interventions to Increase HIV Testing Among Men Who Have Sex with Men

Globally, men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionally affected by HIV infection. Incidence of HIV among MSM remains steadily high, despite declines in the general population and increasing benefits of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for the management of HIV. In addition, rates of HIV testing among MSM have stayed low worldwide, as have their rates of access to HIV prevention and care services. Engagement in HIV care has the potential to improve health outcomes and greatly reduce onward transmission of infection. To benefit fully from treatment however, individuals need to first be aware of their HIV status. The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis, published in AIDS Careand led by Sylvia Shangani, doctoral student in the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences, was to summarize evidence on the effectiveness of peer-led interventions to increase the uptake of HIV testing among MSM. READ MORE

Longitudinal Study of Persistent Smoking among HIV-Positive Gay and Bisexual Men

Tobacco use continues to be one of the leading causes of preventable morbidity and premature mortality and is a well-recognized risk factor for chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, and cancer. In HIV-positive gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, smoking is a highly prevalent behavior that, in addition to more general adverse outcomes, has been linked to an increased likelihood of HIV-related medical complications and has been shown to negatively impact immune and virologic response. However, smoking cessation rates among this population remain low. Within couples affected by HIV, primary partners play a positive role in HIV-related outcomes. The purpose of this study, published in Addictive Behaviors and led by Kristi Gamarel, Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences, was to longitudinally assess smoking status in a population of HIV-positive men in same-sex relationships, and the impact of partner smoking status. READ MORE

The Acceptability of Specific Sociocentric Study Procedures among Racially/Ethnically Diverse MSM

The purpose of this study, published in AIDS Care and led by Katie Biello, assistant professor of behavioral and social sciences and epidemiology, and faculty member in the Center for Health Equity Research, was to conduct qualitative interviews and brief surveys with sexually active Black, Hispanic/Latino, and White MSM to assess the acceptability and feasibility of potential procedures for a sociocentric sexual network study. READ MORE

Alcohol Predicts Elevation in Inflammatory Maker Soluble CD14 in Men Living with HIV

Among the 1.2 million people living with HIV infection in the US, 65% used alcohol in the past year, and 15% reported binge drinking in the past month. Independently, HIV infection and heavy alcohol use promote microbial translocation, the movement of gut microbial products into systemic circulation. Gut immune dysfunction and microbial translocation are linked to chronic immune activation, a defining feature of HIV infection that predicts disease progression independent of viral load. At the same time, alcohol and its metabolites cause microbial translocation by increasing gut permeability and promoting oxidative stress. The purpose of this study, led by Mollie A. Monnig, Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences and published in AIDS Care, was to investigate microbial translocation and immune activation as a function of alcohol use in a sample of 21 heavy drinking, HIV-positive men. read more

The Prevalence and Correlates of Substance Use among Youth Living with HIV

HIV infection disproportionately affects young people, with individuals 16-24 years of age demonstrating the highest rates of new HIV infections. Several studies have documented a high prevalence of substance use behaviors among young people living with HIV, which carries a host of general health risks as well as repercussions for those with HIV, including increased condomless sex and suboptimal adherence to antiretroviral therapy. The purpose of this study, published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence and led Kristi Gamarel, Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences, was to assess the prevalence of substance use behaviors in a population of 2216 youth living with HIV, and to examine the associations between several substances, sociodemographic and structural factors, comorbid psychological distress, and HIV disease and sexual risk characteristics. READ MORE

The Characteristics of Intermittent and Daily Smokers in a Sample of Heavy-drinking, HIV-infected MSM

The prevalence of cigarette smoking remains high among persons living with HIV, in particular among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. Smoking among persons living with HIV has been linked to increased rates of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other pulmonary diseases. The purpose of this study, published in AIDS Care and led by Patricia Cioe, assistant professor of behavioral and social sciences, was to compare the quit intentions of daily smokers and intermittent smokers, in a population of heavy-drinking, HIV-infected men who have sex with men. read more

The Role of Discrimination in Alcohol-Related Problems in Heavy Drinking Men Who Have Sex with Men 

This study, published in Drug and Alcohol Dependenceby Tyler Wray, assistant professor of behavioral and social sciences, and colleagues, used path modeling to explore associations between perceived discrimination experiences, drinking motives, alcohol use, and alcohol-related problems in samples of heavy drinking MSM with and without HIV. read more

The Clinical Care of Incarcerated People with HIV, Viral Hepatitis, or Tuberculosis

In a comprehensive review published in The Lancet, Dr. Josiah Rich, Professor of Epidemiology, and colleagues, discuss available literature on the topic of clinical management of people infected with HIV, hepatitis B and C viruses, and tuberculosis in incarcerated settings in addition to co-occurrence of one or more of these infections. read more