AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 19, Issue 11, pp 2117–2122 | Cite as

Informal Caregiver Characteristics Associated with Viral Load Suppression Among Current or Former Injection Drug Users Living with HIV/AIDS

  • Mary M. MitchellEmail author
  • Allysha C. Robinson
  • Trang Q. Nguyen
  • Amy R. Knowlton
Original Paper


Few studies have examined the association between having an informal (unpaid) caregiver and viral suppression among persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) who are on antiretroviral therapy. The current study examined relationships between caregivers’ individual and social network characteristics and care recipient viral suppression. Baseline data were from the BEACON study caregivers and their HIV seropositive former or current drug using care recipients, of whom 89 % were African American (N = 258 dyads). Using adjusted logistic regression, care recipient’s undetectable viral load was positively associated with caregiver’s limited physical functioning and negatively associated with caregivers having few family members to turn to for problem solving, a greater number of current drug users in their network, and poorer perceptions of the care recipient’s mental health. Results further understandings of interpersonal relationship factors important to PLHIV’s health outcomes, and the need for caregiving relationship-focused intervention to promote viral suppression among PLHIV.


HIV/AIDS Viral load and suppression Care recipients Informal caregivers Social networks 



This study was supported by Grants R01 DA019413, R01 NR14050-01, and T-32DA007292 from the National Institutes of Health.

Conflict of interest

All authors have no conflicts of interest and the sources of funding for the project include Grants R01 DA019413 and R01 NR14050-01 from the National Institutes of Health.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary M. Mitchell
    • 1
    Email author
  • Allysha C. Robinson
    • 1
  • Trang Q. Nguyen
    • 1
  • Amy R. Knowlton
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Health, Behavior, and SocietyJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA

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