AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 21, Issue 12, pp 3486–3495 | Cite as

Food Insecurity, HIV Disease Progression and Access to Care Among HIV-Infected Russians not on ART

  • Bulat Idrisov
  • Karsten Lunze
  • Debbie M. Cheng
  • Elena Blokhina
  • Natalia Gnatienko
  • Gregory J. Patts
  • Carly Bridden
  • Ronald E. Kleinman
  • Sheri D. Weiser
  • Evgeny Krupitsky
  • Jeffrey H. Samet
Original Paper


Food insecurity (FI) has been associated with HIV disease progression among people on antiretroviral therapy (ART), presumably a consequence of poor medication adherence. We assessed whether there is a longitudinal association between FI and two primary outcomes reflecting on HIV disease progression (i.e., CD4 count and time to ART initiation) among people not on ART. Analyses used linear mixed effects and Cox models controlling for confounders. In this cohort (n = 310) FI was common (53%). Most (71.3%) reported past month heavy alcohol use and 37.1% reported past month injection drug use. Only 50 participants initiated ART during the study and mean time to ART was 128 days (SD 120). There were no significant differences in CD4 cell count between the groups with mild/moderate FI or severe FI versus those with no FI [adjusted mean difference, mild/moderate insecurity versus no FI −32.5 (95% CI −94.3, 29.3); severe versus no FI −45.5 (95% CI −124.1, 33.0); global p = 0.42]. We found no significant association between FI and longer time to ART initiation (p = 0.36). Food security is a desirable goal for overall health and shown beneficial for those on ART, however it does not appear to be associated with HIV disease progression among those with high prevalence of substance use and not yet on ART.


HIV progression Russia Food insecurity Access to care 


La inseguridad alimentaria (IF) se ha asociado con la progresión de la enfermedad del VIH entre las personas que reciben terapia antirretroviral (ART), presumiblemente como consecuencia de la mala adherencia al tratamiento. En este estudio se evaluó si existe una asociación longitudinal entre FI y la progresión de la enfermedad del VIH medido por el recuento de CD4 y el tiempo de iniciación del tratamiento antirretroviral entre las personas que no lo recibían. Para los análisis utilizamos efectos mixtos lineales y modelos de regresión de Cox controlando por potenciales factores de confusión. En esta cohorte (n = 310) la FI era frecuente (53%). La mayoría (71,3%) había consumido alcohol durante el mes anterior y el 37,1% había consumido drogas inyectadas el mes anterior. Sólo 50 participantes iniciaron tratamiento antirretroviral durante el estudio y el tiempo medio de TAR fue de 128 días (DE 120). No hubo diferencias significativas en el recuento de células CD4 entre los grupos con FI leve/moderada o FI grave versus aquellos sin FI (diferencia de medias ajustada, inseguridad leve/moderada vs. no FI -32,5 [IC del 95%: -94,3, 29,3], Grave vs no FI -45,5 [IC del 95%: -124,1, 33,0], global p = 0,42). No se encontró asociación significativa entre FI y mayor tiempo para la iniciación del TAR (p = 0,36). La seguridad alimentaria es un objetivo deseable para la salud en general y es beneficiosa para los que reciben tratamiento antirretroviral. Sin embargo, no parece estar asociada con la progresión de la infección por el VIH entre aquellos con alta prevalencia de uso de drogas que todavía no reciben tratamiento antirretroviral.



Dr. Idrisov was funded by The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) International Program INVEST Drug Abuse Research Fellowship. The study was supported by the following NIH Grant funding: U01AA020780, U24AA020778, U24AA020779, U01AA021989, R01DA032082, K99DA041245.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bulat Idrisov
    • 1
  • Karsten Lunze
    • 1
  • Debbie M. Cheng
    • 2
  • Elena Blokhina
    • 3
  • Natalia Gnatienko
    • 4
  • Gregory J. Patts
    • 5
  • Carly Bridden
    • 4
  • Ronald E. Kleinman
    • 6
  • Sheri D. Weiser
    • 7
  • Evgeny Krupitsky
    • 3
    • 8
  • Jeffrey H. Samet
    • 1
    • 9
  1. 1.Clinical Addiction Research and Education Unit, Section of General Internal Medicine, Department of MedicineBoston University School of Medicine/Boston Medical CenterBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiostatisticsBoston University School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  3. 3.Laboratory of Clinical Pharmacology of AddictionsFirst Pavlov State Medical UniversitySt. PetersburgRussia
  4. 4.Clinical Addiction Research and Education Unit, Section of General Internal Medicine, Department of MedicineBoston Medical CenterBostonUSA
  5. 5.Data Coordinating CenterBoston University School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  6. 6.Department of PediatricsMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  7. 7.Division of HIV, Infectious Disease and Global Medicine, Department of MedicineUCSFSan FranciscoUSA
  8. 8.Department of AddictionsBekhterev Research Psychoneurological InstituteSt. PetersburgRussia
  9. 9.Department of Community Health SciencesBoston University School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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