Youth living with HIV and problem substance use: elevated distress is associated with nonadherence and sexual risk

J Int Assoc Physicians AIDS Care (Chic). 2010 Mar-Apr;9(2):113-5. doi: 10.1177/1545109709357472. Epub 2010 Feb 4.


Purpose: To examine health risk behaviors in distressed youth living with HIV (YLH) with problem substance use.

Methods: Assessed distress, antiretroviral (ARV) adherence, and unprotected sex in a racially and geographically diverse sample of 122 YLH.

Results: A total of 87% of distressed YLH reported significantly more past-month ARV nonadherence (odds ratio [OR] = 7.15) and were more likely to have unprotected sex under the influence (OR = 5.14) than nondistressed youth.

Conclusions: Distressed YLH with problem substance use may benefit from interventions to improve adherence and to decrease sexual risk, especially while under the influence of drugs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior* / psychology
  • Female
  • HIV Infections* / complications
  • HIV Infections* / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections* / psychology
  • HIV Infections* / transmission
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medication Adherence / psychology*
  • Psychology, Adolescent
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications*
  • Unsafe Sex
  • Young Adult