Study: HIV medication adherence declined after terrorist attacks
BY Advocate.com Editors
September 06 2002 12:00 AM ET
A study by researchers in New York City shows that HIV-positive gay and bisexual men in the city were more likely to miss medication doses or take their anti-HIV drugs later than usual following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Data from the ongoing study, posted on GayHealth.com, were collected from 68 men in the city before and after the attacks. The mean number of missed doses of protease inhibitors among the study subjects increased from 2.67 per week two weeks prior to the attacks to 5.07 times per week in the two weeks following the destruction of the World Trade Center. The men also reported that they were less likely to take their medications within the prescribed window period after September 11.
The anxiety, uncertainty about the future, and grief associated with the attacks played key roles in the drop in adherence rates, the researchers said.
"We found that participants repeatedly brought up how their lives have been impacted by September 11," said principle researcher Perry Halkitis. "Essentially, the factors that we already know are related to adherence, such as coping skills, self-efficacy, and complexity of the regimen, were still factors after September 11 and in fact explained whose adherence levels were most likely to decrease after September 11."
Stephen Goldstone, an Advocate.com contributor and medical director of GayHealth.com, said the psychological effects of the terrorist attacks also could have lead to increased unprotected and risky sexual behavior among gay and bisexual men. If the viral loads of HIV-positive men are rising due to noncompliance with their anti-HIV medication regimens, it's possible that they may be more able to infect their sex partners through unprotected sex. "We need to know whether the trend of missed medications was quickly corrected or if it is an ongoing phenomenon before we can better assess the impact," he said.
- Multiple Attacks on Gay Men in NYC, Hours After Rally
- Op-ed: Adopting the T in LGBT
- Donald Rumsfeld Isn't Sure, But Marriage Equality Might Lead to Polygamy
- Florida Teen Facing Sex Offender Charge For Consensual Same-Sex Relationship
- Father of Teen Facing Felony for Lesbian Relationship Says She's Been Targeted Before
- Rising Above the Down Low
Sign Up For Email Updates
- Sports Water Polo Player Addresses WeHo City Council in Speedo 2 hours 48 min ago
- Comics and Graphic Novels This Gay Superhero Comic Is So Super Duper May 22 2013 9:00 PM
- The End of Bullying Could Video Games Be a Cure for Anti-LGBT Bullying? May 22 2013 8:15 PM
- Women Kaitlyn Hunt's Lawyer: Possible Plea Deal, But No Felony For Same-Sex High School Relationship May 22 2013 7:03 PM
- Military Donald Rumsfeld Isn't Sure, But Marriage Equality Might Lead to Polygamy May 22 2013 7:01 PM
- Internet WATCH: The First AIDS Generation in Giant Town Hall May 22 2013 6:16 PM
- Politics Joe Biden Praises Jewish Leaders for Marriage Equality May 22 2013 6:09 PM