Stimulant Use and Study Protocol Completion: Assessing the Ability of Men Who Have Sex with Men to Collect Dried Blood Spots for Laboratory Measurement of HIV Viral Load.
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AuthorTeran, Richard A
Carrico, Adam W
Horvath, Keith J
Downing, Martin J
Chiasson, Mary Ann
Walters, Suzan M
KeywordDried blood spot testing
Men who have sex with men
Stimulant drug use
Journal titleArchives of sexual behavior
Publication Begin page195
Publication End page209
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractStimulant use is associated with higher HIV viral load (VL) and sexual HIV transmission risk among men who have sex with men (MSM) living with HIV. There is little research on willingness of drug users living with HIV to fully participate in studies, especially those involving self-collection of biomarker data. This study presents findings from an at-home dried blood spot collection study measuring laboratory-quantified VL among U.S. HIV-positive MSM who reported high-risk sexual behavior and/or suboptimal antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence to assess the association between drug-use behavior and (1) ability to complete a study protocol and (2) VL outcomes. Among recruited participants (n = 766), 35% reported stimulant drug use (amphetamines, cocaine, crack, crystal meth, ecstasy, or a combination of stimulant drugs), 39% reported using other drugs (heroin, marijuana, prescription opioids, and others), and 27% reported no drug use in the past 3 months. In all, 61% of enrolled participants completed the study protocol. Stimulant drug users were less likely (ARR 0.84; 95% CI 0.72-0.98) to complete the protocol than other drug users. Furthermore, other drug users were significantly less likely than non-drug users (ARR 0.52; 95% CI 0.28-0.97) to have an HIV VL result ≥ 1500 copies/mL. This study provides important estimates regarding the likelihood of participation in biomedical research activities among HIV-positive MSM with varying drug-use behaviors, showing that it is feasible to conduct such biomedical studies with drug-using MSM who report high-risk sexual behavior and struggle with their ART adherence.
CitationTeran RA, Carrico AW, Horvath KJ, Downing MJ Jr, Chiasson MA, Walters SM, Hirshfield S. Stimulant Use and Study Protocol Completion: Assessing the Ability of Men Who Have Sex with Men to Collect Dried Blood Spots for Laboratory Measurement of HIV Viral Load. Arch Sex Behav. 2020 Jan;49(1):195-209. doi: 10.1007/s10508-019-01515-x. Epub 2019 Oct 19. PMID: 31630286; PMCID: PMC7018572.
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