Shrestha, R., Karki, P., Huedo-Medina, T., & Copenhaver, M.
Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care, September 2016. Abstract
Neurocognitive impairment (NCI) and treatment engagement (TE) have been shown to significantly predict antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence, but no studies have explored the ways and the extent to which similar outcomes might occur when these factors operate together, particularly for people who use drugs (PWUDs). We sought to discover whether TE moderated the effect of NCI on adherence to ART in HIV-infected individuals. One hundred sixteen HIV-infected, methadone-maintained people who reported HIV risk behaviors were enrolled in the study. Variables of interest (NCI, ART adherence, TE) were assessed using audio computer-assisted self-interview. Results revealed a significant interactive effect of NCI and TE on ART adherence, which supported the moderation effect. Findings from post hoc analyses showed that NCI was negatively associated with adherence to ART at low levels of TE. Findings suggest the need to accommodate individual NCI and improve TE as a means to enhance ART adherence in HIV-infected PWUDs.