Shrestha, R. & Copenhaver, M.
Addictive Behaviors, May 2018. Abstract
Introduction: Methadone maintenance therapy (MMT) is associated with improved virologic outcomes, yet no studies have explored factors associated with viral suppression in HIV-infected patients on MMT. Given the critical role of sustained viral suppression in maximizing benefits of antiretroviral therapy (ART), we sought to assess factors associated with viral suppression in patients stabilized on MMT.
Methods: A sample of 133 HIV-infected, methadone-maintained patients who reported HIV-risk behaviors were assessed using an audio-computer assisted self-interview (ACASI). Multivariable logistic regression was used to identify significant correlates of viral suppression.
Results: Among all participants, self-reported HIV risk behaviors were highly prevalent and over 80% had achieved viral suppression. Independent correlates of viral suppression were: having optimal adherence to ART (aOR = 4.883, p = .009), high CD4 count (aOR = 2.483, p = .045), and ongoing injection drug use (aOR = 0.081, p = .036). Furthermore, results revealed a significant interaction effect that involved optimal ART adherence and injection of drug use on viral suppression (aOR = 2.953, p = .029).
Conclusions: Overall, our findings highlight unaddressed HIV-related treatment challenges faced by certain group of methadone-maintained patients. These findings have significant implications for the HIV treatment as prevention efforts and, thus, indicate the need for comprehensive efforts to promote viral suppression in this risk population.