Indexed on: 12 Sep '13Published on: 12 Sep '13Published in: Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Food insecurity is associated with HIV treatment non-adherence and poor health outcomes for people living with HIV/AIDS. Given the poor nutritional status common to people who drink alcohol, food insecurity may be particularly problematic for HIV positive individuals who drink alcohol. To examine food insecurity among HIV positive men and women who drink alcohol and its association with antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence, health outcomes and health service utilization. Adults living with HIV (N = 183) in Atlanta, Georgia who reported alcohol use in the previous week and were receiving ART participated in a 12-month cohort. Participants were recruited from infectious disease clinics and social services to complete computerized interviews, monthly-unannounced pill counts to monitor ART adherence, and daily cell-phone delivered interactive-text assessments for alcohol use. Forty-three percent of participants experienced food insecurity during at least one month of the study period. Food insecurity was independently associated with suboptimal ART adherence and less suppressed HIV viral load over. Individuals who experienced food insecurity also had histories of more medical and psychiatric hospitalizations, and greater mental health problems. Food insecurity is prevalent among alcohol using people receiving ART and food insecurity is associated with treatment non-adherence, poor health outcomes, and increased medical and psychiatric hospitalizations.