Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
First Advisor's Name
Jessy G. Dévieux
First Advisor's Committee Title
Second Advisor's Name
Consuelo Beck Sague
Third Advisor's Name
Fourth Advisor's Name
HIV, adherence, antiretroviral, neurocognitive, alcohol, marijuana, intervention, viral load
Date of Defense
Among people living with HIV (PLWH), adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) can be affected by problems of neurocognitive (NC) impairment, stress, alcohol and other drug (AOD) abuse, and other barriers. The aims of this research were to: (1) examine factors associated with NC impairment, (2) explore relationships between psychosocial variables with ART adherence and viral load (VL), and (3) evaluate the efficacy of an evidence-based intervention in improving ART adherence, increasing service utilization, and decreasing VL.
The first study (n=370) was cross sectional and used structural equation modeling to test whether AOD use, years living with HIV, and time from HIV diagnosis to seeking care were associated with poorer NC functioning. The second study (n=246) used similar methods to test the hypothesis that stress, barriers to adherence, NC impairment, poor social support, and AOD use were related to lower VL mediated by ART adherence. The third study (n=243) evaluated an evidence-based, eight-session program to improve ART adherence, reduce VL, and increase service utilization in a randomized controlled trial. Study participants were PLWH living in South Florida, 18 to 60 years old, with a history of alcohol abuse enrolled from January 2009 through November 2012.
Secondary analysis of available data showed: (1) scores on interference with executive functioning increased by 0.32 for each day of marijuana use and 1.18 for each year living with HIV, but no association was found between alcohol use and NC functioning; (2) each barrier to adherence was associated with a 10% decrease in adherence to ART and a 0.42 unit increase in VL (log10) and the relationship between barriers and VL was partially mediated by ART adherence; (3) participants in the evidence-based program were more likely than the comparison group to report an undetectable VL (OR=2.25, p
Psychosocial factors affect VL, but ART adherence is essential in achieving an undetectable VL in PLWH.
Attonito, Jennifer, "The Influence of Neurocognitive Impairment, Alcohol and other Drug (AOD) Use, and Psychosocial Factors on Antiretroviral Treatment Adherence, Service Utilization and Viral Load Among HIV-Seropositive Adults" (2013). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 968.
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