Multiple syndemic psychosocial factors are associated with reduced engagement in HIV care among a multinational, online sample of HIV-infected MSM in Latin America
Biello, Katie B.
Safren, Steven A.
Rosenberger, Joshua G.
Novak, David S.
Mimiaga, Matthew J.
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CitationBiello, Katie B., Catherine E. Oldenburg, Steven A. Safren, Joshua G. Rosenberger, David S. Novak, Kenneth H. Mayer, and Matthew J. Mimiaga. 2016. “Multiple syndemic psychosocial factors are associated with reduced engagement in HIV care among a multinational, online sample of HIV-infected MSM in Latin America.” AIDS Care 28 (sup1): 84-91. doi:10.1080/09540121.2016.1146205. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09540121.2016.1146205.
AbstractABSTRACT Latin America has some of the highest levels of antiretroviral therapy (ART) coverage of any developing region in the world. Early initiation and optimal adherence to ART are necessary for improved health outcomes and reduction in onward transmission. Previous work has demonstrated the role of psychosocial problems as barriers to uptake and adherence to ART, and recently, a syndemic framework has been applied to the role of multiple psychosocial syndemic factors and adherence to ART, in the USA. However, to our knowledge, these associations have not been investigated outside of the USA, nor in a multi-country context. To address these gaps, we assessed the association between multiple co-occurring psychosocial factors and engagement in HIV-related medical care and adherence to ART among a large, multinational sample of sexually-active HIV-infected men who have sex with men in Latin America. Among the 2020 respondents, 80.7% reported currently receiving HIV-related medical care, 72.3% reported currently receiving ART; among those, 62.5% reported 100% adherence. Compared with experiencing no psychosocial health problems, experiencing five or more psychosocial health problems is associated with 42% lower odds of currently receiving HIV-related medical care (adjusted odds ratio, aOR = 0.58, 95% CI 0.36, 0.95) and of currently receiving ART (aOR = 0.58, 95% CI 0.38, 0.91). The number of psychosocial health problems experienced was associated with self-reported ART adherence in a dose–response relationship; compared to those with none of the factors, individuals with one syndemic factor had 23% lower odds (aOR = 0.77, 95% CI 0.60, 0.97) and individuals with five or more syndemic factors had 72% lower odds (aOR = 0.28, 95% CI 0.14, 0.55) of reporting being 100% adherent to ART. Addressing co-occurring psychosocial problems as potential barriers to uptake and adherence of ART in Latin America may improve the effectiveness of secondary prevention interventions.
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