Illicit drug use, depression and their association with highly active antiretroviral therapy in HIV-positive women

Judith A. Cook, Dennis D. Grey, Jane K. Burke-Miller, Mardge H. Cohen, David Vlahov, Farzana Kapadia, Tracey E. Wilson, Robert Cook, Rebecca M. Schwartz, Elizabeth T. Golub, Kathryn Anastos, Claudia Ponath, Lakshmi Goparaju, Alexandra M. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: We examined the interaction of illicit drug use and depressive symptoms, and how they affect the subsequent likelihood of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) use among women with HIV/AIDS. Methods: Subjects included 1710 HIV-positive women recruited from six sites in the U.S. including Brooklyn, Bronx, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco/Bay Area, and Washington, DC. Cases of probable depression were identified using depressive symptom scores on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Crack, cocaine, heroin, and amphetamine use were self-reported at 6-month time intervals. We conducted multivariate random logistic regression analysis of data collected during 16 waves of semiannual interviews conducted from April 1996 through March 2004. Results: We found an interaction effect between illicit drug use and depression that acted to suppress subsequent HAART use, controlling for virologic and immunologic indicators, socio-demographic variables, time, and study site. Conclusions: This is the first study to document the interactive effects of drug use and depressive symptoms on reduced likelihood of HAART use in a national cohort of women. Since evidence-based behavioral health and antiretroviral therapies for each of these three conditions are now available, comprehensive HIV treatment is an achievable public health goal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-81
Number of pages8
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 15 2007


  • Depression
  • Drug use
  • HIV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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