Unhealthy substance-use behaviors as symptom-related self-care in persons with HIV/AIDS.
Unhealthy substance-use behaviors, including a heavy alcohol intake, illicit drug use, and cigarette smoking, are engaged in by many HIV-positive individuals, often as a way to manage their disease-related symptoms. This study, based on data from a larger randomized controlled trial of an HIV/AIDS symptom management manual, examines the prevalence and characteristics of unhealthy behaviors in relation to HIV/AIDS symptoms. The mean age of the sample (n = 775) was 42.8 years and 38.5% of the sample was female. The mean number of years living with HIV was 9.1 years. The specific self-reported unhealthy substance-use behaviors were the use of marijuana, cigarettes, a large amount of alcohol, and illicit drugs. A subset of individuals who identified high levels of specific symptoms also reported significantly higher substance-use behaviors, including amphetamine and injection drug use, heavy alcohol use, cigarette smoking, and marijuana use. The implications for clinical practice include the assessment of self-care behaviors, screening for substance abuse, and education of persons regarding the self-management of HIV.
Brion, JM; Rose, CD; Nicholas, PK; Sloane, R; Corless, IB; Lindgren, TG; Wantland, DJ; Kemppainen, JK; Sefcik, EF; Nokes, KM; Kirksey, KM; Eller, L; Hamilton, MJ; Holzemer, WL; Portillo, CJ; Mendez, MR; Robinson, LM; Moezzi, S; Rosa, M; Human, S; Maryland, M; Arudo, J; Ros, AV; Nicholas, TP; Cuca, Y; Huang, E; Bain, C; Tyer-Viola, L; Zang, SM; Shannon, M; Peters-Lewis, A; Willard, S
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