Illicit drug use, depression and their association with highly active antiretroviral therapy in HIV-positive women
Depression and use of illicit drugs like crack/cocaine/heroin are serious problems for HIV positive women in the WIHS cohort. In addition, prior research on other groups with HIV/AIDS suggests that both types of problems may be related to a woman’s tendency not to seek or follow through with health care services, such as being on HAART. We used WIHS study data to explore how depression and illegal drug use were related to whether women were on HAART. We found that when we looked at them individually, both depression and illicit drug use were related to not being on HAART. But when we looked at them together, women with both depression and illicit drug use were the least likely to be on HAART, followed by women with illicit drug use but no depression. We concluded that women with both problems need specialized treatment for both their depression and their drug use if they are to have an opportunity to use the most potent HIV/AIDS treatments.
Cook J, Grey D, Burke J, Cohen M, Vlahov D, Kapadia F, Wilson T, Schwartz R, Cook R, Golub ET, Anastos K, Ponath C, Goparaju L and Levine A. Illicit drug use, depression, and their association with highly active antiretroviral therapy in HIV-positive women. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2007;89(1):74-81.