August 12, 1998

Adherence and Antiretroviral Therapy in Injection Drug Users

Author Affiliations

From the Cook County HIV Center, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Cook County Hospital and Rush Medical College, Chicago, Ill.

JAMA. 1998;280(6):567-568. doi:10.1001/jama.280.6.567

The intertwined epidemics of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and chemical dependency continue to be a challenge for optimal medical care delivery in the era of potent antiretroviral therapy. In this issue of JAMA, Celentano et al1 report a cross-sectional survey in 404 injecting drug users (IDUs) with HIV infection in Baltimore, Md, from mid-1996 to mid-1997 in which only 57 (14%) of 404 patients reported receiving potent antiretroviral therapy. Sixty-three percent of patients reported receiving no (49%) or inadequate (14%) therapy. Active injecting drug use, lack of advanced disease (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome [AIDS]), not being in a substance abuse treatment program, and not having a usual source of primary care or health insurance were associated with not receiving therapy.

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