Challenges to HIV management among youth engaged in HIV care

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Amanda Elizabeth Tanner, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Regardless of medical advancements, new HIV infections persist. Young adults are most often newly infected, thus research is needed to assess medication adherence barriers specific to young adults with HIV. The data were abstracted from medical charts to include both self-reported behavioral and psychological distress data and HIV parameters in 2013 among patients aged 18–30 years. Descriptive and logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify factors related to viral suppression and sexually transmitted infection (STI) status. A total of 335 individuals presented for care during a 12-month period at a single clinic. The majority were African American and had a mean age of 25.6 years. Nearly all had current prescriptions of antiretroviral therapy (ART). Among those receiving ART, almost three-quarters were virally suppressed, as measured by 200 copies/mL. STI tests are conducted annually and by assessed need; 30% of this sample had at least 1 bacterial STI diagnosis within the last year. Psychological distress symptoms were more common among individuals who were not virally suppressed, compared to those who were virally suppressed. Women and individuals with moderate to severe symptoms of depression had higher odds of having unsuppressed viral loads. The independent factors associated with having any STIs were being African American or other minorities and having two or more sex partners. Our findings related to how young adults are managing their HIV care suggest that increased efforts aimed to prevent additional STIs and manage psychological distress will likely reduce transmission risks.

Additional Information

AIDS Care, 29(2), 189–196
Language: English
Date: 2017
Youth, adolescents, young adults, HIV/AIDS, HIV management, psychiatric disorders, psychological distress, mental illness

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