AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 185–194 | Cite as

Drug Use and Medication Adherence among HIV-1 Infected Individuals

  • Charles H. Hinkin
  • Terry R. Barclay
  • Steven A. Castellon
  • Andrew J. Levine
  • Ramani S. Durvasula
  • Sarah D. Marion
  • Hector F. Myers
  • Douglas Longshore
Original Paper


This longitudinal study examined the impact of drug use and abuse on medication adherence among 150 HIV-infected individuals, 102 who tested urinalysis positive for recent illicit drug use. Medication adherence was tracked over a 6-month period using an electronic monitoring device (MEMS caps). Over the 6-month study drug-positive participants demonstrated significantly worse medication adherence than did drug-negative participants (63 vs. 79%, respectively). Logistic regression revealed that drug use was associated with over a fourfold greater risk of adherence failure. Stimulant users were at greatest risk for poor adherence. Based upon within-participants analyses comparing 3-day adherence rates when actively using versus not using drugs, this appears to be more a function of state rather than trait. These data suggest that it is the acute effects of intoxication, rather than stable features that may be characteristic of the drug-using populace, which leads to difficulties with medication adherence.


HIV infection AIDS Medication adherence Drug use Methamphetamine Cocaine 



This study was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (RO1 DA13799) to CHH. The authors would like to thank Marta Robinet, Adam Perkins, and Oscar Ureño for their research assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles H. Hinkin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Terry R. Barclay
    • 1
  • Steven A. Castellon
    • 1
    • 2
  • Andrew J. Levine
    • 1
  • Ramani S. Durvasula
    • 3
  • Sarah D. Marion
    • 4
  • Hector F. Myers
    • 5
    • 6
  • Douglas Longshore
    • 1
  1. 1.David Geffen School of MedicineUniversity of California at Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care SystemLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.California State University at Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Point Loma UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  5. 5.University of California at Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  6. 6.Research Center on Ethnicity, Health & BehaviorCharles R. Drew University of Medicine Los AngelesUSA

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