Coping styles and illicit drug use in older adults with HIV/AIDS.
The prevalence of HIV infection in older adults is increasing; by 2015, over half of adults living with HIV/AIDS in the United States will be over 50. This study describes the prevalence of drug use and examines psychosocial predictors of drug use in a sample of HIV-infected adults aged 50 and older. Participants were 301 HIV-positive older adults enrolled in a clinical trial of a coping intervention aimed to reduce their depressive symptoms. One-quarter used illicit drugs in the past 60 days (48% any cocaine, 48% weekly marijuana, 44% any other drugs) with an average of 36 days for marijuana and 15 days for cocaine. After controlling for demographics, self-destructive avoidance was positively associated and spiritual coping was negatively associated with drug use. These findings suggest that assessment of drug abuse should be a routine part of care for older patients in HIV clinics. Furthermore, interventions designed to increase spiritual coping and decrease self-destructive avoidance may be particularly efficacious for HIV-infected older adults.
Skalski, LM; Sikkema, KJ; Heckman, TG; Meade, CS
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