Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

2018

Li MJ, Okafor CN, Gorbach PM, Shoptaw S. Intersecting burdens: Homophobic victimization, unstable housing, and methamphetamine use in a cohort of men of color who have sex with men, Drug and Alcohol Dependence (2018)

Abstract
Background
Men who have sex with men with histories of homophobic victimization bear heightened risk of unstable housing and methamphetamine use. However, it is unclear whether unstable housing explains the link between homophobic victimization and methamphetamine use in this group. The present study aims to test associations between homophobic victimization, unstable housing, and recent methamphetamine use across 24 months in a cohort of men of color who have sex with men (MoCSM).

Methods
Our analysis stems from data of 1,342 person-visits from 401 MoCSM participating in an ongoing cohort study. We performed a lagged multilevel negative binominal regression to test the association between past homophobic victimization and recent unstable housing, and a lagged multilevel ordered logistic regression to test the association between past homophobic victimization recent methamphetamine use. We then performed a path analysis to test whether recent unstable housing mediates the association between past homophobic victimization and recent methamphetamine use.

Results
Findings showed homophobic victimization associated significantly with increased odds of unstable housing (IRR = 1.70, 95% CI [1.35, 2.14], p < .001) and recent methamphetamine use (OR = 1.40, 95% CI [1.15, 1.71], p = .001). Mediation analysis indicated that past homophobic victimization was indirectly associated with recent methamphetamine use via unstable housing (OR = 1.06 (95% CI [1.01, 1.11], p = .010).

Conclusion
Our findings suggest that homophobic victimization and unstable housing should be addressed alongside treatment and prevention of methamphetamine use in MoCSM.

To read the full manuscript, click here

Javanbakht M, Ragsdale A, Shoptaw S, Gorbach PM. Transactional Sex among Men Who Have Sex with Men: Differences by Substance Use and HIV Status. Journal of Urban Health. 2018 Aug:1-3. 2018 Aug 22. doi: 10.1007/s11524-018-0309-8. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 30136249.

Abstract: 

Exchanging money, drugs, and other goods for sex has been associated with sexual risk behaviors and increased STIs/HIV. While female sex work is well described, data on men who exchange sex for money or goods are more limited. This paper examined the prevalence and correlates of transactional sex among young men who have sex with men, especially focusing on substance use and HIV status. We conducted a cohort study of 511 participants recruited between August 2014 and December 2017 in Los Angeles, CA. Eligible participants were: (1) between 18 and 45 years of age; (2) male; and (3) if HIV-negative, reported condomless anal intercourse with a male partner in the past 6 months. By design, half were HIV-positive and half HIV-negative. At baseline and semi-annual follow-up visits, computer-assisted self-interviews were used to collect information on demographics, sexual behaviors including transactional sex which was defined as exchange of money, drugs, or a place to stay for anal intercourse. Laboratory testing was conducted for current STI/HIV status. The average age of participants was 31.4 years with 43% identifying as African American, followed by 36% as Hispanic/Latino. The prevalence of recent transactional sex across 1486 study visits was 17% (n = 255), with 74% of those reporting exchanging sex for drugs. The prevalence of transactional sex was higher among those who reported unstable housing (32 vs. 11%; p value < .01), concurrent sexual partnerships (26 vs. 9%; p value < .01), and transgender sex partners (40 vs. 15%; p value < .01). Those who reported receiving money, drugs, or shelter for sex were also more likely to report giving money, drugs, shelter for sex than men who did not report exchange sex (77 vs. 11%; p value < .01). Based on multivariable analyses after adjusting for age and race/ethnicity, HIV viral load was independently associated with transactional sex [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) = 1.4; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1-1.7) per log10 increase]. Additionally, those testing positive for an STI were nearly twice as likely to report transactional sex as compared to those without STIs (AOR = 1.9; 95% CI 1.2-3.5). These findings underscore the relatively high prevalence of transactional sex and its potential role in ongoing HIV transmission among this cohort of high-risk HIV-negative and HIV-positive men who have sex with men.

Read the full commentary by clicking this link.

Brooks RA, Nieto O, Landrian A, Donohoe TJ. Persistent stigmatizing and negative perceptions of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) users: implications for PrEP adoption among Latino men who have sex with men. AIDS Care. 2018 Jul 18:1-9. [Epub ahead of print.] PMID: 30021456

Abstract
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates the lifetime HIV risk is one in four for Latino men who have sex with men (MSM). Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) is an efficacious biomedical prevention strategy to help prevent the acquisition of HIV. At present, there has been limited uptake of PrEP by Latino MSM. Unfortunately, the negative perceptions and social stigma surrounding PrEP and those who use it may deter uptake of this novel prevention strategy, particularly among high-risk Latino MSM. In this qualitative study, we explore the experiences of using PrEP among Latino MSM. Participants were recruited using gay-oriented social and sexual networking apps to complete an interviewer-administered, semi-structured qualitative interview. Thematic analysis was used to identify emerging themes relating to perceptions of PrEP users and PrEP as an HIV prevention strategy. Major themes included: feelings of protection and sexual freedom; negative and stigmatizing labels associated with PrEP use; assumptions about sexual behaviors and perceptions of sexual risk taking and irresponsibility; and attitudes related to PrEP use in relationships. A striking but not prevalent theme was the perception reported by participants that monolingual Spanish-speaking Latino MSM are skeptical about the effectiveness of PrEP. These findings suggest that efforts are needed to address the stigmatizing and negative perceptions of PrEP that persist in the gay community that may deter adoption among Latino MSM.

Read the full article here.

Briones M, Shoptaw S, Cook R, Worley M, Swanson AN, Moody DE, Fang WB, Tsuang J, Furst B, Heinzerling K. Varenicline treatment for methamphetamine dependence: A randomized, double-blind Phase II clinical trial. Drug and alcohol dependence. 2018 May 25.189:30-36. PMID: 29860057.

Abstract
BACKGROUND:
Previous studies have suggested that varenicline, an α4β2 nicotinic receptor partial agonist, and α7 nicotinic receptor full agonist, may be effective for the treatment of methamphetamine (MA) dependence due to dopaminergic effects, relief of glutamatergic and cognitive dysfunction, and activation of nicotinic cholinergic systems. This study aimed to determine if varenicline (1 mg BID) resulted in reduced methamphetamine use compared to placebo among treatment-seeking MA-dependent volunteers.

METHODS:
Treatment-seeking MA-dependent volunteers were randomized to varenicline 1 mg twice daily (n = 27) or placebo (n = 25) and cognitive behavioral therapy for 9 weeks. The primary outcomes were the proportion of participants achieving end-of-treatment-abstinence (EOTA, MA-negative urine specimens during weeks 8 and 9) and the treatment effectiveness score (TES, number of MA-negative urine specimens) for varenicline versus placebo.

RESULTS:
There was no significant difference in EOTA between varenicline (15%, 4/27) and placebo (20%, 5/25; p = 0.9). There was some suggestion that urinary confirmed medication compliance corresponded with EOTA in the varenicline condition, though it did not reach statistical significance, OR = 1.57 for a 100 ng/ml increase in urine varenicline, p = 0.10, 95% CI (0.99, 3.02). There was no significant difference in mean TES in the varenicline condition (8.6) compared to the placebo condition (8.1), and treatment condition was not a statistically significant predictor of TES, IRR = 1.01, p = 0.9, 95% CI (0.39, 2.70).

CONCLUSIONS:
The results of this study indicate that 1 mg varenicline BID was not an effective treatment for MA dependence among treatment-seeking MA-dependent volunteers.

Read the full commentary here.

Zhang SX, Shoptaw S, Reback CJ, Yadav K, Nyamathi AM. Cost-effective way to reduce stimulant-abuse among gay/bisexual men and transgender women: a randomized clinical trial with a cost comparison. Public health. 2018 Jan 1;154:151-60.

Abstract/Summary:

OBJECTIVES:
A randomized controlled study was conducted with 422 homeless, stimulant-using gay/bisexual (G/B) men and 29 transgender women (n = 451) to assess two community-based interventions to reduce substance abuse and improve health: (a) a nurse case-managed program combined with contingency management (NCM + CM) versus (b) standard education plus contingency management (SE + CM).

STUDY DESIGN:
Hypotheses tested included: a) completion of hepatitis A/B vaccination series; b) reduction in stimulant use; and c) reduction in number of sexual partners.

METHODS:
A deconstructive cost analysis approach was utilized to capture direct costs associated with the delivery of both interventions. Based on an analysis of activity logs and staff interviews, specific activities and the time required to complete each were analyzed as follows: a) NCM + CM only; b) SE + CM only; c) time to administer/record vaccines; and d) time to receive and record CM visits. Cost comparison of the interventions included only staffing costs and direct cash expenditures.

RESULTS:
The study outcomes showed significant over time reductions in all measures of drug use and multiple sex partners, compared to baseline, although no significant between-group differences were detected. Cost analysis favored the simpler SE + CM intervention over the more labor-intensive NCM + CM approach. Because of the high levels of staffing required for the NCM relative to SE, costs associated with it were significantly higher.

CONCLUSIONS:
Findings suggest that while both intervention strategies were equally effective in achieving desired health outcomes, the brief SE + CM appeared less expensive to deliver.

Read the full commentary here.

Hermanstyne KA, Green Jr HD, Cook R, Tieu HV, Dyer TV, Hucks-Ortiz C, Wilton L, Latkin C, Shoptaw S. Social Network Support and Decreased Risk of Seroconversion in Black MSM: Results of the BROTHERS (HPTN 061) Study. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. 2018 Jun 1;78(2):163-8.

Abstract
BACKGROUND AND SETTING:
Black men who have sex with men (BMSM) in the United States have disproportionately high HIV infection rates. Social networks have been shown to influence HIV risk behavior; however, little is known about whether they affect the risk of HIV seroconversion. This study uses data from the BROTHERS (HPTN 061) study to test whether contextual factors related to social networks are associated with HIV seroconversion among BMSM.

METHODS:
We analyzed data from the BROTHERS study (2009-2011), which examined a multicomponent intervention for BMSM in 6 US cities. We ran a series of Cox regression analyses to examine associations between time-dependent measures of network support (personal/emotional, financial, medical, and social participation) and time to HIV seroconversion. We ran unadjusted models followed by models adjusted for participant age at enrollment and study location.

RESULTS:
A total of 1000 BMSM tested HIV negative at baseline and were followed at 6- and 12-month study visits. Twenty-eight men tested HIV positive. In adjusted hazard ratio models, study participants who remained HIV negative had higher proportions of social network members who provided personal/emotional {0.92 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.85 to 0.99]}, medical [0.92 (95% CI: 0.85 to 0.99)], or social participation [0.91 (95% CI: 0.86 to 0.97)] support.

CONCLUSION:
Findings suggest that the increased presence of social network support can be protective against HIV acquisition. Future research should explore the processes that link social network support with sexual and other transmission risk behaviors as a basis to inform HIV prevention efforts.

Read the full commentary here.

Hermanstyne KA, Shoptaw S, Cunningham WE. Associations of types of substances with condomless sex in vulnerable people living with HIV/AIDS. Journal of HIV/AIDS & Social Services. 2018 Apr 3;17(2):118-26.

Abstract:
For people living with HIV who are not readily retained in medical care, substance use can contribute to risky sexual behavior that may lead to HIV transmission. This cross-sectional study examined the relationship between stimulants versus opioids and condomless sex in a sample of 223 vulnerable people living with HIV/AIDS. We examined the associations of stimulant and opioid use in the past 30 days with condomless sex while controlling for sample characteristics. More than two thirds (69%) reported having condomless sex in the past six months. Results showed a positive association between condomless sex and any illicit substance use (AOR: 2.82; 95% CI: 1.29–6.17; P = 0.009) or stimulant use (AOR: 2.54; 95% CI: 1.04–6.24; P = 0.041) in the past 30 days. These findings suggest the importance of promoting behavioral interventions that increase consistent condom use and reduce stimulant use among people who have difficulties with HIV care retention.

To read the full commentary, click this link.

Davey DJ, Farley E, Towriss C, Gomba Y, Bekker LG, Gorbach P, Shoptaw S, Coates T, Myer L. Risk perception and sex behaviour in pregnancy and breastfeeding in high HIV prevalence settings: Programmatic implications for PrEP delivery. PloS one. 2018 May 14;13(5):e0197143. PMCID: PMC5951545.

Abstract
HIV acquisition during pregnancy and breastfeeding significantly contributes toward paediatric HIV infection; however, little is known about risk behaviours in HIV-uninfected pregnant and postpartum women. We conducted twenty-six in-depth-interviews between July and December 2016 using a semi-structured interview guide among HIV-uninfected pregnant and recently postpartum women at-risk of HIV acquisition (defined as reporting ≥1 of the following: partner’s serostatus unknown or HIV-infected, recent condomless sex in pregnancy, and/or alcohol use during pregnancy) who attended primary healthcare services. Our study contextualizes factors related to risky sexual behaviours during pregnancy and postpartum periods and assesses knowledge and hypothetical acceptability of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in pregnancy. Translated and transcribed data were coded and analysed by three researchers using a thematic analysis approach. In interviews with HIV-uninfected pregnant/postpartum women at-risk of HIV acquisition, we identified common themes associated with sexual risk behaviours during pregnancy, including: lack of control over decisions in sex and condom use in pregnancy, low perceived risk (e.g. beliefs that their partner has the same HIV-negative serostatus), and socio-cultural beliefs around condom use during pregnancy (e.g. contact with sperm is essential for baby’s development). PrEP knowledge was low among HIV-uninfected pregnant and breastfeeding women, and potential acceptability was good, though primary concerns were around the potential impact on the infant. While mothers presented a clear desire to protect themselves from HIV acquisition once pregnant, they also reported lack of control, and socio-cultural beliefs, like sex is good for the baby, that increased their risk of seroconversion. Mothers had limited PrEP awareness but reported hypothetical willingness to use PrEP because of concerns over HIV acquisition and onward mother to child transmission.

Read the full article here.

Garcia J, Perez-Brumer AG, Cabello R, Clark JL. “And Then Break the Cliché”: Understanding and Addressing HIV Vulnerability Through Development of an HIV Prevention Telenovela with Men Who Have Sex with Men and Transwomen in Lima, Peru. Archives of sexual behavior. 2018 Feb 20:1-1. PMID: 29464455.

Abstract
HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) continue to affect men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (TW) in Peru at disproportionately high rates. The ineffectiveness of traditional prevention strategies may be due to the disconnect between health promotion messages and community-level understandings of sexual cultures. We conducted 15 workshops with MSM and TW to develop a community-based sexual health intervention. Intervention development consisted of focus groups and scenic improvisation to identify sexual scripts for an HIV prevention telenovela, or Spanish soap opera. Workshops were stratified by self-reported socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, and gender identity: (1) low-income MSM (n = 9); (2) middle/high-income MSM (n = 6); and (3) TW (n = 8). Employing a conceptual model based on sexual scripts and critical consciousness theories, this paper reports on three themes identified during the telenovela-development process as participants sought to “rescript” social and sexual stereotypes associated with HIV-related vulnerability: (1) management of MSM and TW social identities at the intersection of socioeconomic status, sexuality, and gender performance; (2) social constructions of gender and/or sexual role and perceived and actual HIV/STI risk(s) within sexual partnership interactions; and (3) idealized and actual sexual scripts in the negotiation of safer sex practices between MSM/TW and their partners. These findings are key to reframing existing prevention strategies that fail to effectively engage poorly defined “high-risk populations.” Leveraging community-based expertise, the results provide an alternative to the static transfer of information through expert-patient interactions in didactic sessions commonly used in HIV prevention interventions among MSM and TW.

Read the full article here.

Severino AL, Shadfar A, Hakimian JK, Crane O, Singh G, Heinzerling K, Walwyn WM. Pain therapy guided by purpose and perspective in light of the opioid epidemic. Frontiers in psychiatry. 2018;9. PMCID: PMC5925443.

Abstract
Prescription opioid misuse is an ongoing and escalating epidemic. Although these pharmacological agents are highly effective analgesics prescribed for different types of pain, opioids also induce euphoria, leading to increasing diversion and misuse. Opioid use and related mortalities have developed in spite of initial claims that OxyContin, one of the first opioids prescribed in the USA, was not addictive in the presence of pain. These claims allayed the fears of clinicians and contributed to an increase in the number of prescriptions, quantity of drugs manufactured, and the unforeseen diversion of these drugs for non-medical uses. Understanding the history of opioid drug development, the widespread marketing campaign for opioids, the immense financial incentive behind the treatment of pain, and vulnerable socioeconomic and physical demographics for opioid misuse give perspective on the current epidemic as an American-born problem that has expanded to global significance. In light of the current worldwide opioid epidemic, it is imperative that novel opioids are developed to treat pain without inducing the euphoria that fosters physical dependence and addiction. We describe insights from preclinical findings on the properties of opioid drugs that offer insights into improving abuse-deterrent formulations. One finding is that the ability of some agonists to activate one pathway over another, or agonist bias, can predict whether several novel opioid compounds bear promise in treating pain without causing reward among other off-target effects. In addition, we outline how the pharmacokinetic profile of each opioid contributes to their potential for misuse and discuss the emergence of mixed agonists as a promising pipeline of opioid-based analgesics. These insights from preclinical findings can be used to more effectively identify opioids that treat pain without causing physical dependence and subsequent opioid abuse.

Read the full article by clicking here.

Athanasos P, Ling W, Bochner F, White JM, Somogyi AA. Buprenorphine Maintenance Subjects Are Hyperalgesic and Have No Antinociceptive Response to a Very High Morphine Dose. Pain Medicine. 2018 Mar 5.

Abstract
OBJECTIVE:
Acute pain management in opioid-dependent persons is complicated because of tolerance and opioid-induced hyperalgesia. Very high doses of morphine are ineffective in overcoming opioid-induced hyperalgesia and providing antinociception to methadone-maintained patients in an experimental setting. Whether the same occurs in buprenorphine-maintained subjects is unknown.

DESIGN:
Randomized double-blind placebo-controlled. Subjects were tested on two occasions, at least five days apart, once with intravenous morphine and once with intravenous saline. Subjects were tested at about the time of putative trough plasma buprenorphine concentrations.

SETTING:
Ambulatory.

SUBJECTS:
Twelve buprenorphine-maintained subjects: once daily sublingual dose (range = 2-22 mg); no dose change for 1.5-12 months. Ten healthy controls.

METHODS:
Intravenous morphine bolus and infusions administered over two hours to achieve two separate pseudo-steady-state plasma concentrations one hour apart. Pain tolerance was assessed by application of nociceptive stimuli (cold pressor [seconds] and electrical stimulation [volts]). Ten blood samples were collected for assay of plasma morphine, buprenorphine, and norbuprenorphine concentrations until three hours after the end of the last infusion; pain tolerance and respiration rate were measured to coincide with blood sampling times.

RESULTS:
Cold pressor responses (seconds): baseline: control 34 ± 6 vs buprenorphine 17 ± 2 (P = 0.009); morphine infusion-end: control 52 ± 11(P = 0.04), buprenorphine 17 ± 2 (P > 0.5); electrical stimulation responses (volts): baseline: control 65 ± 6 vs buprenorphine 53 ± 5 (P = 0.13); infusion-end: control 74 ± 5 (P = 0.007), buprenorphine 53 ± 5 (P > 0.98). Respiratory rate (breaths per minute): baseline: control 17 vs buprenorphine 14 (P = 0.03); infusion-end: control 15 (P = 0.09), buprenorphine 12 (P < 0.01). Infusion-end plasma morphine concentrations (ng/mL): control 23 ± 1, buprenorphine 136 ± 10.

CONCLUSIONS:
Buprenorphine subjects, compared with controls, were hyperalgesic (cold pressor test), did not experience antinociception, despite high plasma morphine concentrations, and experienced respiratory depression. Clinical implications are discussed.

Read the full commentary here.

Barbosa-Leiker C, McPherson S, Layton ME, Burduli E, Roll JM, Ling W. Sex differences in opioid use and medical issues during buprenorphine/naloxone treatment. The American journal of drug and alcohol abuse. 2018 Jul 4;44(4):488-96.

Abstract
BACKGROUND:
There are sex differences in buprenorphine/naloxone clinical trials for opioid use. While women have fewer opioid-positive urine samples, relative to men, a significant decrease in opioid-positive samples was found during treatment for men, but not women. In order to inform sex-based approaches to improve treatment outcomes, research is needed to determine if opioid use, and predictors of opioid use, differs between men and women during treatment.

OBJECTIVES:
To test for sex differences in opioid use during a buprenorphine/naloxone clinical trial and determine if sex differences exist in the associations between addiction-related problem areas and opioid use over the course of the trial.

METHOD:
This secondary data analysis of the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network (CTN) 0003 examined sex differences (men = 347, women = 169) in opioid-positive samples in a randomized clinical trial comparing 7-day vs. 28-day buprenorphine/naloxone tapering strategies. Addiction-related problem areas were defined by Addiction Severity-Lite (ASI-L) domain composite scores.

RESULTS:
Women were more likely than men to use opioids during the course of the buprenorphine/naloxone clinical trial (B = .33, p = .01) and medical issues were positively related to submitting an opioid-positive sample during treatment for women (B = 1.67, p = .01). No ASI-L domain composite score was associated with opioid-positive samples during treatment for men.

CONCLUSION:
Women were more likely than men to use opioids during the course of the buprenorphine/naloxone clinical trial, and medical issues predicted opioid use during treatment for women but not men. Complementary treatment for medical problems during opioid replacement therapy may benefit women.

Read the full commentary here.

Li MJ, Frank HG, Harawa NT, Williams JK, Chou CP, Bluthenthal RN. Racial pride and condom use in post-incarcerated African-American men who have sex with men and women: Test of a conceptual model for the men in life environments intervention. Archives of sexual behavior. 2018 Jan 1;47(1):169-81.

Abstract
African-American men who have sex with men and women (MSMW) are among those most heavily impacted by HIV in the United States, and those who have histories of incarceration are at further risk of infection. The Men in Life Environments (MILE) HIV prevention intervention was developed to provide culturally appropriate skills-based education and support for African-American MSMW with recent histories of incarceration. The MILE’s conceptual framework was informed by three theories: Theory of Reasoned Action and Planned Behavior, Critical Thinking and Cultural Affirmation Model, and Empowerment Theory. The theory-based framework posits that improving racial pride is crucial in building self-efficacy and intentions that in turn promote health-protective behaviors. Therefore, our study aimed to assess whether baseline associations between racial pride and condom use self-efficacy, intentions, and behaviors among African-American MSMW with histories of incarceration align with our conceptual model. We report data on 212 participants recruited from Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Men’s Central Jail and the local community. Using structural equation modeling, we tested two separate models: one with female sexual partners and one with male sexual partners, while stratifying by participant’s HIV status. Only among HIV-negative participants was greater racial pride associated with less condomless intercourse with men. In this group, greater self-efficacy and intentions-but not racial pride-predicted less condomless intercourse with women. Our findings suggest that racial pride is an important factor to address in HIV prevention interventions for post-incarcerated African-American MSMW.

The full article may be found here.

Comulada WS, Swendeman D, Koussa MK, Mindry D, Medich M, Estrin D, Mercer N, Ramanathan N. Adherence to self-monitoring healthy lifestyle behaviours through mobile phone-based ecological momentary assessments and photographic food records over 6 months in mostly ethnic minority mothers. Public health nutrition. 2018 Mar;21(4):679-88.

Abstract
OBJECTIVE:
Mobile phones can replace traditional self-monitoring tools through cell phone-based ecological momentary assessment (CEMA) of lifestyle behaviours and camera phone-based images of meals, i.e. photographic food records (PFR). Adherence to mobile self-monitoring needs to be evaluated in real-world treatment settings. Towards this goal, we examine CEMA and PFR adherence to the use of a mobile app designed to help mothers self-monitor lifestyle behaviours and stress. Design/Setting In 2012, forty-two mothers recorded CEMA of diet quality, exercise, sleep, stress and mood four times daily and PFR during meals over 6 months in Los Angeles, California, USA.

SUBJECTS:
A purposive sample of mothers from mixed ethnicities.

RESULTS:
Adherence to recording CEMA at least once daily was higher compared with recording PFR at least once daily over the study period (74 v. 11 %); adherence to both types of reports decreased over time. Participants who recorded PFR for more than a day (n 31) were more likely to be obese v. normal- to overweight and to have higher blood pressure, on average (all P<0·05). Based on random-effects regression, CEMA and PFR adherence was highest during weekdays (both P<0·01). Additionally, PFR adherence was associated with older age (P=0·04). CEMA adherence was highest in the morning (P<0·01). PFR recordings occurred throughout the day.

CONCLUSIONS:
Variations in population and temporal characteristics should be considered for mobile assessment schedules. Neither CEMA nor PFR alone is ideal over extended periods.

Read the full commentary here.

Kelso-Chichetto NE, Okafor CN, Cook RL, Abraham AG, Bolan R, Plankey M. Association between depressive symptom patterns and clinical profiles among persons living with HIV. AIDS and behavior. 2018 May 1;22(5):1411-22. PMCID: PMC5720934.

Abstract
To describe patterns of depressive symptoms across 10-years by HIV status and to determine the associations between depressive symptom patterns, HIV status, and clinical profiles of persons living with HIV from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (N = 980) and Women’s Interagency HIV Study (N = 1744). Group-based trajectory models were used to identify depressive symptoms patterns between 2004 and 2013. Multinomial logistic regressions were conducted to determine associations of depression risk patterns. A 3-group model emerged among HIV-negative women (low: 58%; moderate: 31%; severe: 11%); 5-groups emerged among HIV-positive women (low: 28%; moderate: 31%; high: 25%; decreased: 7%; severe: 9%). A 4-group model emerged among HIV-negative (low: 52%; moderate: 15%; high: 23%; severe: 10%) and HIV-positive men (low: 34%; moderate: 34%; high: 22%; severe: 10%). HIV+ women had higher odds for moderate (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 2.10, 95% CI 1.63-2.70) and severe (AOR 1.96, 95% CI 1.33-2.91) depression risk groups, compared to low depression risk. HIV+ men had higher odds for moderate depression risk (AOR 3.23, 95% CI 2.22-4.69), compared to low risk. The Framingham Risk Score, ART use, and unsuppressed viral load were associated with depressive symptom patterns. Clinicians should consider the impact that depressive symptoms may have on HIV prognosis and clinical indicators of comorbid illnesses.

Read the full text here.

Hilary J. Aralis, Steve Shoptaw, Ron Brookmeyer, Amy Ragsdale, Robert Bolan, Pamina M. Gorbach. Psychiatric Illness, Substance Use, and Viral Suppression Among HIV‑Positive Men of Color Who Have Sex with Men in Los Angeles. AIDS and Behavior (2018) 22:3117–3129.

Abstract

For individuals living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), viral suppression positively affects quality and length of life and reduces risks for HIV transmission. Men of color who have sex with men (MoCSM) who have been diagnosed with HIV have disproportionately low rates of viral suppression, with concomitant increases in incidence. We identified specific social, structural, and psychiatric factors associated with viral suppression among a sample of 155 HIV-positive MoCSM. Cigarette smoking and biological markers of recent drug use were significantly associated with detectable viral load. In contrast, individuals reporting a history of psychiatric illness during medical examination were more likely to be virally suppressed. Further analyses demonstrated that psychiatric illness may affect virologic outcomes through increased probability of being prescribed HIV medications. Alternatively, cigarette smoking and drug use appear to negatively affect subsequent HIV Care Continuum milestones such as medication adherence. Findings provide support for comprehensive intervention programs that emphasize prevention and treatment of cigarette, methamphetamine, and other drug use, and promote improved connection to psychiatric care. Continual achievement of this goal may be a crucial step to increase rates of viral suppression and slow HIV incidence in communities of MoCSM in Los Angeles and other urban areas.

To read more, click here.

2017

Ryan Cook, Brendan Quinn, Keith Heinzerling & Steve Shoptaw. Dropout in clinical trials of pharmacological treatment for methamphetamine dependence: the role of initial abstinence. Addiction. 2017 February 16. 112, 1077–1085. PMCID: PMC5984202

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS:
High rates of loss to follow-up represent a significant challenge to clinical trials of pharmacological treatments for methamphetamine (MA) use disorder. We aimed to estimate and test the relationship between achieving and maintaining abstinence in the initial weeks of study participation and subsequent retention in such trials, hypothesizing that participants able to achieve early abstinence would be less likely to drop out.

DESIGN:
Data from four randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of pharmacological treatments for MA use disorder were pooled and analyzed using a random-effects approach.

SETTING:
All trials were conducted in the greater Los Angeles, CA, USA area.

PARTICIPANTS:
A total of 440 participants were included; trials were conducted between 2004 and 2014.

MEASUREMENTS:
Participants’ ability to achieve a brief period of initial abstinence was measured as the number of MA-negative urine screens completed in the first 2 weeks of the trials. Outcomes were the likelihood of dropout, i.e. missing two consecutive weeks of scheduled urine drug screens, and the number of days participants were retained in the trials.

FINDINGS:
Study participants achieved an average of three (of six possible) negative urine screens during the first 2 weeks of the trials, 51% dropped out and the average number of days retained was 60 (of 90 maximum). Each additional negative urine screen achieved during the first 2 weeks of the study reduced multiplicatively the odds of dropout by 41% [odds ratio (OR) = 0.59, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.53, 0.66]. Abstinence was also a significant predictor of retention time; the hazard ratio for non-completion was 0.75 per additional negative urine screen (95% CI = 0.71, 0.80).

CONCLUSIONS:
Participants in randomized controlled trials of pharmacological treatments for methamphetamine use disorder who are able to achieve a brief period of early abstinence are retained longer in the trials and are less likely to drop out overall.

Click here to read more.

Matthew E. Levy, Gregory Phillips II, Manya Magnus, Irene Kuo, Geetha Beauchamp, Lynda Emel, Christopher Hucks-Ortiz, Erica L. Hamilton, Leo Wilton, Iris Chen, Sharon Mannheimer, Hong-Van Tieu, Hyman Scott, Sheldon D. Fields, Carlos del Rio, Steven Shoptaw, Kenneth Mayer. A Longitudinal Analysis of Treatment Optimism and HIV Acquisition and Transmission Risk Behaviors Among Black Men Who Have Sex with Men in HPTN 061. AIDS Behavior. October 2017, Volume 21, Issue 10, pp 2958–2972. PMCID: PMC5623129

Abstract

Little is known about HIV treatment optimism and risk behavioral among Black men who have sex with men (BMSM). Using longitudinal data from BMSM in the HPTN 061 study, we examined participants’ self-reported comfort with having condomless sex due to optimistic beliefs regarding HIV treatment. We assessed correlates of treatment optimism and its association with subsequent risk behaviors for HIVacquisition or transmission using multivariable logistic regression with generalized estimating equations. Independent correlates of treatmentoptimism included age ≥35 years, annual household income <$20,000, depressive symptoms, high HIV conspiracy beliefs, problematic alcohol use, and previous HIV diagnosis. Treatment optimism was independingly associated with subsequent condomless anal sex with a male partner of serodiscordant/unknown HIV status among HIV-infected men, but this association was not statistically significant among HIV-uninfected men. HIV providers should engage men in counseling conversations to assess and minimize willingness to have condomless sexthat is rooted in optimistic treatment beliefs without knowledge of viral suppression.

Click here to read more.

Chukwuemeka N Okafor, Pamina M. Gorbach, Amy Ragsdale, Brendan Quinn & Steve Shoptaw. Correlates of Preexposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Use among Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) in Los Angeles, California. J Urban Health. October 2017, Volume 94, Issue 5, pp 710–715 PMCID: PMC5610125

Abstract

We assessed socio-structural and behavioral correlates of preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV infection among a sample of high-risk HIV-negative men who have sex with men (MSM) in Los Angeles, California. Participants from an ongoing 5-year prospective cohort study investigating the direct impacts of substance use on HIV transmission dynamics were enrolled between February 2015 and January 2017. All men completed a computer-assisted self-interview every 6 months that assessed recent (past 6 months) PrEP use and socio-structural and behavioral factors. Of the total 185 MSM (mean age = 29 years) included in the study, majority were African American (40%) or Hispanic (41%) and reported current health insurance coverage (80%). In multivariable analysis using log-binomial regression, having health insurance coverage [adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR) 2.02; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01 to 4.01, p = 0.04] was associated with recent PrEP use. Unstable housing (aPR = 0.44, 95% CI 0.22 to 0.90, p = 0.02) was associated with lower PrEP use. Behavioral factors associated with recent PrEP use include sex with a HIV-positive partner (aPR = 3.63, 95% CI 1.45 to 9.10, p = 0.01), having six or more sex partners (aPR = 2.20, 95% CI 1.26 to 3.82, p = <0.01), and popper use (aPR = 2.76, 95% CI 1.58 to 4.84, p = <0.01). In this sample of predominantly racial/ethnic minority MSM, socio-structural and behavioral factors were important factors associated with recent PrEP use. These findings provide considerations for intervention development to promote PrEP use among key groups of MSM.

Click here to read more.

Reisner SL, Perez-Brumer AG, McLean SA, Lama JR, Silva-Santisteban A, Huerta L, Sanchez J, Clark JL, Mimiaga MJ, Mayer KH. Perceived barriers and facilitators to integrating HIV prevention and treatment with cross-sex hormone therapy for transgender women in Lima, Peru. AIDS and Behavior. 2017 Dec 1;21(12):3299-311. PMCID: PMC5647197.

Abstract
Transgender women (TW) represent a vulnerable population at increased risk for HIV infection in Peru. A mixed-methods study with 48 TW and 19 healthcare professionals was conducted between January and February 2015 to explore barriers and facilitators to implementing a model of care that integrates HIV services with gender-affirmative medical care (i.e., hormone therapy) in Lima, Peru. Perceived acceptability of the integrated care model was high among TW and healthcare professionals alike. Barriers included stigma, lack of provider training or Peruvian guidelines regarding optimal TW care, and service delivery obstacles (e.g., legal documents, spatial placement of clinics, hours of operation). The hiring of TW staff was identified as a key facilitator for engagement in health care. Working in partnership with local TW and healthcare provider organizations is critical to overcoming existing barriers to successful implementation of an integrated HIV services and gender-affirmative medical care model for this key population in Peru.

Read the full commentary by clicking here.

Birath, J.B., Briones, M., Amaya, S., Shoptaw, S., Swanson, A.N., Tsuang, J., Furst, B., Heinzerling, K., Obermeit, L., Maes, L. and McKay, C., Ibudilast may improve attention during early abstinence from methamphetamine. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2017 Sep 1;178:386-390.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:
Inattention is a deficit related to instilling abstinence from methamphetamine (MA) dependence. This study aimed to determine whether ibudilast (IB; 50mg bid) improves attentional abilities compared to placebo during early abstinence from MA dependence.

METHODS:
Attention was assessed in 11 MA-dependent non-treatment seeking participants in a phase IB safety-interaction trial. The Conners’ Continuous Performance Test-II (CPT-II), a measure of sustained attention and response inhibition, was administered at baseline and on day 22, 48h post a MA challenge under placebo (P; n=6) or IB 50mg bid (n=5). Group differences were compared using Mann-Whitney U Tests. Groups were similar at baseline in premorbid intellectual functioning, attention deficit hyperactivity symptom scores, impulsivity ratings, and education level, but differed in age. Demographically corrected T-scores for CPT-II performances were utilized.

RESULTS:
Although no group differences in sustained attention existed at baseline, at follow-up, the IB group (Mdn=44.4) showed reduced variability in response times compared with the P group (Mdn=69.9), U=0.00, z=-2.74, p=.006, r=.83. The IB group (Mdn=45.8) also gave fewer perseverative responses than the P group (Mdn=67.0), U=2.00, z=-2.50, p=.01, r=.75. No other significant differences were observed.

CONCLUSIONS:
Findings suggest that IB may have a protective effect on sustained attention during early abstinence from MA dependence. This may guide thinking about mechanism of action should IB demonstrate efficacy as a treatment for MA dependence.

Click here to read more.

Ray LA, Bujarski S, Shoptaw S, Roche DJ, Heinzerling K, Miotto K. Development of the neuroimmune modulator ibudilast for the treatment of alcoholism: a randomized, placebo-controlled, human laboratory trial. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2017 Aug;42(9):1776. PMCID: PMC5520778.

Abstract
Current directions in medication development for alcohol use disorder (AUD) emphasize the need to identify novel molecular targets and efficiently screen new compounds aimed at those targets. Ibudilast (IBUD) is a neuroimmune modulator that inhibits phosphodiesterase-4 and -10 and macrophage migration inhibitory factor and was recently found to reduce alcohol intake in rats by ∼50%. To advance medication development for AUD, the present study consists of a randomized, crossover, double-blind, placebo-controlled laboratory study of IBUD in nontreatment-seeking individuals with current (ie, past month) mild-to-severe AUD. This study tested the safety, tolerability, and initial human laboratory efficacy of IBUD (50 mg b.i.d.) on primary measures of subjective response to alcohol as well as secondary measures of cue- and stress-induced changes in craving and mood. Participants (N=24) completed two separate 7-day intensive outpatient protocols that included daily visits for medication administration and testing. Upon reaching a stable target dose of IBUD (or matched placebo), participants completed a stress-exposure session (day 5; PM), an alcohol cue-exposure session (day 6; AM), and an i.v. alcohol administration session (day 6; PM). Participants stayed overnight after the alcohol administration, and discharge occurred on day 7 of the protocol. Medication conditions were separated by a washout period that was ⩾7 days. IBUD was well tolerated; however, there were no medication effects on primary measures of subjective response to alcohol. IBUD was associated with mood improvements on the secondary measures of stress exposure and alcohol cue exposure, as well as reductions in tonic levels of craving. Exploratory analyses revealed that among individuals with higher depressive symptomatology, IBUD attenuated the stimulant and mood-altering effects of alcohol as compared with placebo. Together, these findings extend preclinical demonstrations of the potential utility of IBUD for the treatment of AUD and suggest that depressive symptomatology should be considered as a potential moderator of efficacy for pharmacotherapies with neuroimmune effects, such as IBUD.

Read the full article here.

Chen, I., Zhang, Y., Cummings, V., Cloherty, G.A., Connor, M., Beauchamp, G., Griffith, S., Rose, S., Gallant, J., Scott, H.M. and Shoptaw, S. Analysis of HIV integrase resistance in Black men who have sex with men in the United States. AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses. July 2017. 33(7): 745-748.

Abstract/Summary:

Resistance to reverse transcriptase and protease inhibitors was frequently detected in HIV from black men who have sex with men (MSM) enrolled in the HIV prevention trials network (HPTN) 061 study. In this study, integrase strand transfer inhibitor (INSTI) resistance was analyzed in black MSM enrolled in HPTN 061 (134 infected at enrollment and 23 seroconverters) and a follow-up study, HPTN 073 (eight seroconverters). The ViroSeq HIV-1 Integrase Genotyping Kit (Abbott Molecular) was used for analysis. Major INSTI resistance mutations were not detected in any of the samples. HIV from 14 (8.4%) of the 165 men, including 4 (12.9%) of 31 seroconverters, had accessory or polymorphic INSTI-associated mutations. The most frequently detected mutation was E157Q. These findings are promising because INSTI-based regimens are now recommended for first-line antiretroviral treatment and because long-acting cabotegravir is being evaluated for pre-exposure prophylaxis.

Read the full commentary here.

Cederbaum, J.A., Holloway, I.W. and Shoptaw, S., 2017. Brief report: Motivations for HIV testing among young men who have sex with men in Los Angeles County. Journal of HIV/AIDS & Social Services, pp.1-8.

ABSTRACT
Despite current prevention efforts, HIV incidence continues to rise among young men who have sex with men (YMSM) in the United States. Identification of new infections through routine testing is an important first step in the HIV treatment cascade; behavioral assessment among those who test negative may prompt deployment of new biomedical prevention efforts. The present study interviewed 100 YMSM (mean age 25) in Los Angeles, California, with the goal of identifying and understanding HIV testing beliefs and behaviors. Analysis of responses to brief semistructured interviews was conducted using content analysis. Findings highlight high rates of testing (91% lifetime tested; 59% in past 6 months) but reveal a disconnect between HIV testing and risk assessment. Partnerships between academic institutions, community-based organizations, and individual practitioners may facilitate community-wide HIV testing complemented by biomedical interventions. Further exploration of YMSM’s attitudes toward HIV testing is warranted.

Click here to read more.

Cerrada, C.J., Dzubur, E., Blackman, K.C., Mays, V., Shoptaw, S. and Huh, J., 2017. Development of a Just-in-Time Adaptive Intervention for Smoking Cessation Among Korean American Emerging Adults. International journal of behavioral medicine, pp.663-672.

Abstract/Summary:

Purpose: Cigarette smoking is a preventable risk factor that contributes to unnecessary lung cancer burden among Korean Americans and there is limited research on effective smoking cessation strategies for this population. Smartphone-based smoking cessation apps that leverage just-in-time adaptive interventions (JITAIs) hold promise for smokers attempting to quit. However, little is known about how to develop and tailor a smoking cessation JITAI for Korean American emerging adult (KAEA) smokers.

Method: This paper documents the development process of MyQuit USC according to design guidelines for JITAI. Our development process builds on findings from a prior ecological momentary assessment study by using qualitative research methods. Semi-structured interviews and a focus group were conducted to inform which intervention options to offer and the decision rules that dictate their delivery.

Results: Qualitative findings highlighted that (1) smoking episodes are highly context-driven and that (2) KAEA smokers believe they need personalized cessation strategies tailored to different contexts. Thus, MyQuit USC operates via decision rules that guide the delivery of personalized implementation intentions, which are contingent on dynamic factors, to be delivered “just in time” at user-scheduled, high-risk smoking situations.

Conclusion: Through an iterative design process, informed by quantitative and qualitative formative research, we developed a smoking cessation JITAI tailored specifically for KAEA smokers. Further testing is under way to optimize future versions of the app with the most effective intervention strategies and decision rules. MyQuit USC has the potential to provide cessation support in real-world settings, when KAEAs need them the most.

Read the full commentary here.

Kitayama K, Segura ER, Lake JE, Perez-Brumer AG, Oldenburg CE, Myers BA, Pourjavaheri P, Okorie CN, Cabello RL, Clark JL. Syphilis in the Americas: a protocol for a systematic review of syphilis prevalence and incidence in four high-risk groups, 1980–2016. Systematic reviews. 2017 Dec;6(1):195.

Abstract
BACKGROUND:
Syphilis infection has recently resurfaced as a significant public health problem. Although there has been a tremendous amount of research on the epidemiology of syphilis, there has been limited work done to synthesize the extensive body of research and systematically estimate patterns of disease within high-risk groups in the Americas. The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to (1) summarize recent patterns of syphilis infection in North and South America among four high-risk groups (MSM, transgender women, sex workers, and incarcerated individuals) from 1980 to 2016, (2) identify and differentiate regional geographic epidemiologic characteristics, and (3) compare the epidemics of the economically developed countries of North America from the developing countries and public health systems of Latin America and the Caribbean.

METHODS/DESIGN:
Primary studies reporting syphilis prevalence and/or incidence in at least one of the four high-risk groups will be identified from Medline/PubMed, Embase, Lilacs, SciELO, The Cochrane Library, Web of Science, Scopus, ProQuest, CINAHL, Clase, and Periódica, as well as “gray” literature sources (conference abstracts, country reports, etc.). Studies published from 1980 through 2016 will be included. Data will be extracted from studies meeting inclusion and exclusion criteria and a random effects meta-analysis of prevalence and incidence estimates will be conducted. Heterogeneity, risk of bias, and publication bias will be assessed. Pooled prevalence and incidence estimates will be calculated for comparisons based on geographic region, risk factors, and time period.

DISCUSSION:
Our systematic review and meta-analysis aims to contribute to an improved understanding of global epidemiologic patterns of syphilis infection in most-at-risk populations. Through systematic classification of the existing literature, and comparison of disease patterns across regional, temporal and socio-behavioral differences, we hope to improve public health surveillance and improve efforts to control the spread of disease across the Americas.

SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: PROSPERO CRD42016047306.

Read the full review here.

Braun HM, Segura ER, Lake JE, Gandhi M, Rios J, Villaran MV, Sanchez J, Lama JR, Clark JL. Individual and partnership factors associated with anticipated versus actual partner notification following STI diagnosis among men who have sex with men and/or with transgender women in Lima, Peru. Sex Transm Infect. 2017 Nov 30. pii: sextrans-2017-053292. PMCID: PMC5976515.

Abstract
OBJECTIVES:
A detailed understanding of intentions and practices related to partner notification (PN) following STI diagnosis can improve control strategies. We assessed participant-level and partner-level factors guiding notification behaviour among men who have sex with men and/or with transgender women (MSM-TW) in Lima, Peru, including discordances between anticipated and actual notification.

METHODS:
Men newly diagnosed with gonorrhoea, chlamydia and/or syphilis between 2012 and 2014 reported recent partners’ characteristics, anticipated PN practices, and actual PN outcomes following diagnosis. Generalised estimating equation Poisson regression analyses assessed factors guiding PN outcomes.

RESULTS:
Participants (n=150) predominantly identified as homosexual (70%) and moderno (versatile sexual role, 55%); 55% of partners (n=402) were casual. Among all sexual partners, 35% were notified of the STI diagnosis, though only 51% of predicted PN occurred and 26% of actual notifications were unanticipated. 47% of participants notified no partners, while 24% notified all partners. PN was more common with stable versus casual (adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR), 95% CI: 0.53, 0.39 to 0.73) or commercial (aPR, 95% CI: 0.38, 0.12 to 1.21) partners, and among participants who perceived PN as normative among their peers (aPR, 95% CI: 1.96, 1.37 to 2.82). A trend towards greater notification following condom-protected intercourse was observed (aPR, 95% CI: 1.33, 0.98 to 1.81). PN frequency did not differ by type of STI diagnosed.Anticipated notification predicted actual notification (aPR, 95% CI: 1.67, 1.19 to 2.33) only imperfectly: 81 (54%) participants’ PN practices did not match their anticipated behaviour. Successful notification despite anticipated silence (40 participants, 63 partners) was associated with stable partnerships and a normative perception of PN. Non-notification despite intention (43 participants, 73 partners) frequently occurred among participants reporting exclusively oral sex with the partner or with partners identified as activo (insertive role).

CONCLUSIONS:
Anticipated notification imperfectly reflects actual PN behaviour. Future interventions to improve PN among MSM-TW in Peru need to acknowledge partnership contexts.

Read the full article by clicking this link.

Watkins KE, Ober AJ, Lamp K, Lind M, Setodji C, Osilla KC, Hunter SB, McCullough CM, Becker K, Iyiewuare PO, Diamant A, Heinzerling K, Pincus HA. Collaborative care for opioid and alcohol use disorders in primary care: the SUMMIT randomized clinical trial. JAMA Internal Medicine. 2017 Oct 1;177(10):1480-8. PMCID: PMC5710213.

Abstract
IMPORTANCE:
Primary care offers an important and underutilized setting to deliver treatment for opioid and/or alcohol use disorders (OAUD). Collaborative care (CC) is effective but has not been tested for OAUD.

OBJECTIVE:
To determine whether CC for OAUD improves delivery of evidence-based treatments for OAUD and increases self-reported abstinence compared with usual primary care.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:
A randomized clinical trial of 377 primary care patients with OAUD was conducted in 2 clinics in a federally qualified health center. Participants were recruited from June 3, 2014, to January 15, 2016, and followed for 6 months.

INTERVENTIONS:
Of the 377 participants, 187 were randomized to CC and 190 were randomized to usual care; 77 (20.4%) of the participants were female, of whom 39 (20.9%) were randomized to CC and 38 (20.0%) were randomized to UC. The mean (SD) age of all respondents at baseline was 42 (12.0) years, 41(11.7) years for the CC group, and 43 (12.2) yearsfor the UC group. Collaborative care was a system-level intervention, designed to increase the delivery of either a 6-session brief psychotherapy treatment and/or medication-assisted treatment with either sublingual buprenorphine/naloxone for opioid use disorders or long-acting injectable naltrexone for alcohol use disorders. Usual care participants were told that the clinic provided OAUD treatment and given a number for appointment scheduling and list of community referrals.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES:
The primary outcomes were use of any evidence-based treatment for OAUD and self-reported abstinence from opioids or alcohol at 6 months. The secondary outcomes included the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) initiation and engagement measures, abstinence from other substances, heavy drinking, health-related quality of life, and consequences from OAUD.

RESULTS:
At 6 months, the proportion of participants who received any OAUD treatment was higher in the CC group compared with usual care (73 [39.0%] vs 32 [16.8%]; logistic model adjusted OR, 3.97; 95% CI, 2.32-6.79; P < .001). A higher proportion of CC participants reported abstinence from opioids or alcohol at 6 months (32.8% vs 22.3%); after linear probability model adjustment for covariates (β = 0.12; 95% CI, 0.01-0.23; P = .03). In secondary analyses, the proportion meeting the HEDIS initiation and engagement measures was also higher among CC participants (initiation, 31.6% vs 13.7%; adjusted OR, 3.54; 95% CI, 2.02-6.20; P < .001; engagement, 15.5% vs 4.2%; adjusted OR, 5.89; 95% CI, 2.43-14.32; P < .001) as was abstinence from opioids, cocaine, methamphetamines, marijuana, and any alcohol (26.3% vs 15.6%; effect estimate, β = 0.13; 95% CI, 0.03-0.23; P = .01).

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:
Among adults with OAUD in primary care, the SUMMIT collaborative care intervention resulted in significantly more access to treatment and abstinence from alcohol and drugs at 6 months, than usual care.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT01810159.

Read the full text here.

Ladapo JA, Richards AK, DeWitt CM, Harawa NT, Shoptaw S, Cunningham WE, Mafi JN. Disparities in the Quality of Cardiovascular Care Between HIV‐Infected Versus HIV‐Uninfected Adults in the United States: A Cross‐Sectional Study. Journal of the American Heart Association. 2017 Nov 1;6(11). PMCID: PMC5721786

Abstract/Summary:
BACKGROUND:
Cardiovascular disease is emerging as a major cause of morbidity and mortality among patients with HIV. We compared use of national guideline-recommended cardiovascular care during office visits among HIV-infected versus HIV-uninfected adults.

METHODS AND RESULTS:
We analyzed data from a nationally representative sample of HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected patients aged 40 to 79 years in the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey/National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, 2006 to 2013. The outcome was provision of guideline-recommended cardiovascular care. Logistic regressions with propensity score weighting adjusted for clinical and demographic factors. We identified 1631 visits by HIV-infected patients and 226 862 visits by HIV-uninfected patients with cardiovascular risk factors, representing ≈2.2 million and 602 million visits per year in the United States, respectively. The proportion of visits by HIV-infected versus HIV-uninfected adults with aspirin/antiplatelet therapy when patients met guideline-recommended criteria for primary prevention or had cardiovascular disease was 5.1% versus 13.8% (P=0.03); the proportion of visits with statin therapy when patients had diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, or dyslipidemia was 23.6% versus 35.8% (P<0.01). There were no differences in antihypertensive medication therapy (53.4% versus 58.6%), diet/exercise counseling (14.9% versus 16.9%), or smoking cessation advice/pharmacotherapy (18.8% versus 22.4%) between HIV-infected versus HIV-uninfected patients, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:
Physicians generally underused guideline-recommended cardiovascular care and were less likely to prescribe aspirin and statins to HIV-infected patients at increased risk-findings that may partially explain higher rates of adverse cardiovascular events among patients with HIV. US policymakers and professional societies should focus on improving the quality of cardiovascular care that HIV-infected patients receive.

Read the full commentary here.

Machado IK, Luz PM, Lake JE, Castro R, Velasque L, Clark JL, Veloso VG, Grinsztejn B, De Boni RB. Self-rated health and substance use among individuals in HIV care in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: a cross-sectional study. International journal of STD & AIDS. 2017 Oct;28(12):1175-83. PMCID: PMC5501998 .

Abstract
Self-rated health (SRH) is associated with morbidity and mortality in HIV-uninfected populations but is understudied in HIV. Substance use may affect SRH in addition to its deleterious effect on HIV disease. This analysis aimed to estimate SRH and substance use prevalence and evaluate factors associated with poor SRH among individuals in HIV care in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A convenience sample of HIV-infected adults completed one item of SRH, the Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test, and the Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2). Logistic regression models identified factors associated with poor SRH. Participants’ (n = 1029) median age was 42.9 years, 64.2% were male, and 54.5% were nonwhite. Poor SRH was reported by 19.5% and the use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and crack/cocaine by 30.1, 19.5, 3.9, and 3.5%, respectively. Less than high school education (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.54, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.08-2.20), lack of sexual activity in previous 12 months (aOR 1.53, 95% CI: 1.01-2.30), crack/cocaine use (aOR 3.82, 95% CI: 1.80-8.09), positive PHQ-2 screen (aOR 3.43, 95% CI: 2.09-5.62), and HIV-1 RNA ≥40 c/ml (aOR 2.51, 95% CI: 1.57-4.02) were significantly associated with poor SRH as identified by logistic regression analyses. Alcohol, marijuana, and sedative use were not significantly associated with poor SRH. These results emphasize the need for substance use and mental health screening and treatment in this population. Further research may elucidate the consequences of poor SRH on treatment adherence, morbidity, and mortality in HIV-infected individuals.

Read the full article by clicking this link.

Satcher MF, Segura ER, Silva-Santisteban A, Sanchez J, Lama JR, Clark JL. Partner-Level Factors Associated with Insertive and Receptive Condomless Anal Intercourse Among Transgender Women in Lima, Peru. AIDS and Behavior. 2017 Aug 1;21(8):2439-51.

Abstract
Condomless anal intercourse among transgender women (TW) in Peru has been shown to vary by the type of partner involved (e.g. primary vs. casual vs. transactional sex partner), but no previous studies have explored variations in partner-level patterns of condom use according to type of anal intercourse. We evaluated the relationship between partnership characteristics and condom use during insertive (IAI) versus receptive anal intercourse (RAI) among TW with recent, non-female partners. Condomless IAI was more common with transactional and casual sex partners and by TW who self-reported HIV-uninfected serostatus (p < 0.05), alcohol use disorders, or substance use before sex. Condomless RAI was more common with primary partners and by TW who described their HIV serostatus as unknown (p < 0.05). Examining partner-level differences between condomless IAI and RAI reveals distinct patterns of HIV/STI risk among TW, suggesting a need for HIV prevention strategies tailored to the specific contexts of partners, practices, and networks.

Read the full article here.

Ober AJ, Watkins KE, Hunter SB, Ewing B, Lamp K, Lind M, Becker K, Heinzerling K, Osilla KC, Diamant AL, Setodji CM. Assessing and improving organizational readiness to implement substance use disorder treatment in primary care: findings from the SUMMIT study. BMC family practice. 2017 Dec;18(1):107. PMCID: PMC5740845.

Abstract
BACKGROUND:
Millions of people with substance use disorders (SUDs) need, but do not receive, treatment. Delivering SUD treatment in primary care settings could increase access to treatment because most people visit their primary care doctors at least once a year, but evidence-based SUD treatments are underutilized in primary care settings. We used an organizational readiness intervention comprised of a cluster of implementation strategies to prepare a federally qualified health center to deliver SUD screening and evidence-based treatments (extended-release injectable naltrexone (XR-NTX) for alcohol use disorders, buprenorphine/naloxone (BUP/NX) for opioid use disorders and a brief motivational interviewing/cognitive behavioral -based psychotherapy for both disorders). This article reports the effects of the intervention on key implementation outcomes.

METHODS:
To assess changes in organizational readiness we conducted pre- and post-intervention surveys with prescribing medical providers, behavioral health providers and general clinic staff (N = 69). We report on changes in implementation outcomes: acceptability, perceptions of appropriateness and feasibility, and intention to adopt the evidence-based treatments. We used Wilcoxon signed rank tests to analyze pre- to post-intervention changes.

RESULTS:
After 18 months, prescribing medical providers agreed more that XR-NTX was easier to use for patients with alcohol use disorders than before the intervention, but their opinions about the effectiveness and ease of use of BUP/NX for patients with opioid use disorders did not improve. Prescribing medical providers also felt more strongly after the intervention that XR-NTX for alcohol use disorders was compatible with current practices. Opinions of general clinic staff about the appropriateness of SUD treatment in primary care improved significantly.

CONCLUSIONS:
Consistent with implementation theory, we found that an organizational readiness implementation intervention enhanced perceptions in some domains of practice acceptability and appropriateness. Further research will assess whether these factors, which focus on individual staff readiness, change over time and ultimately predict adoption of SUD treatments in primary care.

Read the full text by clicking here.

Brown SE, Vagenas P, Konda KA, Clark JL, Lama JR, Gonzales P, Sanchez J, Duerr AC, Altice FL. Men who have sex with men in Peru: acceptability of medication-assisted therapy for treating alcohol use disorders. American journal of men’s health. 2017 Jul;11(4):1269-78.

Abstract
In Peru, the HIV epidemic is concentrated in men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (TGW). Multiple studies correlate alcohol use disorders (AUDs) with risky sexual behaviors among Peruvian MSM. Qualitative research was used to inform a clinical trial on the acceptability of medication-assisted therapies to assist management of AUDs and improve antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence among MSM/TGW in Peru. Three focus groups involving HIV-infected or HIV-uninfected MSM/TGW ( n = 26) with AUDs (AUDIT ≥ 8) were transcribed, translated from Spanish into English, and analyzed using thematic content analysis. Despite having an AUD, participants considered themselves “social” drinkers, minimized their drinking behaviors, and differed about whether or not alcohol problems could be treated. Participants expressed skepticism about medication for treating AUDs. Three concepts emerged as necessary components of a treatment program for alcohol problems: cost, family support, and the potential to drink less alcohol without attaining total abstinence. This study reveals important areas of education to increase potential acceptability of a medication for treating AUDs among MSM/TGW. Given the social conditions and knowledge base of the participants, medication-assisted therapies using naltrexone may be a beneficial strategy for MSM with AUDs.

Read the full commentary by visiting this link,

Bachtell RK, Jones JD, Heinzerling KG, Beardsley PM, Comer SD. Glial and neuroinflammatory targets for treating substance use disorders. Drug and alcohol dependence. 2017 Nov 1;180:156-70.  PMCID: PMC5790191.

Abstract
BACKGROUND:
The plenary session at the 2016 Behavior, Biology and Chemistry: Translational Research in Addiction Conference focused on glia as potential players in the development, persistence and treatment of substance use disorders. Glia partake in various functions that are important for healthy brain activity. Drugs of abuse alter glial cell activity producing several perturbations in brain function that are thought to contribute to behavioral changes associated with substance use disorders. Consequently, drug-induced changes in glia-driven processes in the brain represent potential targets for pharmacotherapeutics treating substance use disorders.

METHODS:
Four speakers presented preclinical and clinical research illustrating the effects that glial modulators have on abuse-related behavioral effects of psychostimulants and opioids. This review highlights some of these findings and expands its focus to include other research focused on drug-induced glia abnormalities and glia-focused treatment approaches in substance use disorders.

RESULTS:
Preclinical findings show that drugs of abuse induce neuroinflammatory signals and disrupt glutamate homeostasis through their interaction with microglia and astrocytes. Preclinical and clinical studies testing the effects of glial modulators show general effectiveness in reducing behaviors associated with substance use disorders.

CONCLUSIONS:
The contribution of drug-induced glial activity continues to emerge as an intriguing target for substance use disorder treatments. Clinical investigations of glial modulators have yielded promising results on substance use measures and indicate that they are generally safe and well-tolerated. However, results have not been entirely positive and more questions remain for continued exploration in the development and testing of glial-directed treatments for substance use disorders.

See the full text of this article at this link.

Wu Z, Tang Z, Mao Y, Van Veldhuisen P, Ling W, Liu D, Shen Z, Detels R, Lan G, Erinoff L, Lindblad R. Testing and linkage to HIV care in China: a cluster-randomised trial. The Lancet HIV. 2017 Dec 1;4(12):e555-65.

Abstract
BACKGROUND:
Multistage, stepwise HIV testing and treatment procedures can result in lost opportunities to provide timely antiretroviral therapy (ART). Incomplete engagement of patients along the care cascade translates into high preventable mortality. We aimed to identify whether a structural intervention to streamline testing and linkage to HIV health care would improve testing completeness, ART initiation, and viral suppression and reduce mortality.

METHODS:
We did a cluster-randomised, controlled trial in 12 hospitals in Guangxi, China. All hospitals were required to be level 2A county general hospitals and ART delivery sites. We selected the 12 most similar hospitals in terms of structural characteristics, past patient caseloads, and testing procedures. Hospitals were randomly assigned (1:1) to either the One4All intervention or standard of care. Hospitals were randomised in a block design and stratified by the historical rate of testing completeness of the individual hospital during the first 6 months of 2013. We enrolled patients aged 18 years or older who were identified as HIV-reactive during screening in study hospitals, who sought inpatient or outpatient care in a study hospital, and who resided in the study catchment area. The One4All strategy incorporated rapid, point-of-care HIV screening and CD4 counts, and in-parallel viral load testing, to promote fast and complete diagnosis and staging and provide immediate ART to eligible patients. Participants in control hospitals received standard care services. All enrolled patients were assessed for the primary outcome, which was testing completeness within 30 days, defined as completion of three required tests and their post-test counselling. Safety assessments were hospital admissions for the first 90 days and deaths up to 12 months after enrolment. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT02084316.

FINDINGS:
Between Feb 24 and Nov 25, 2014, we enrolled 478 patients (232 in One4All, 246 in standard of care). In the One4All group, 177 (76%) of 232 achieved testing completeness within 30 days versus 63 (26%) of 246 in the standard-of-care group (odds ratio 19·94, 95% CI 3·86-103·04, p=0·0004). Although no difference was observed between study groups in the number of hospital admissions at 90 days, by 12 months there were 65 deaths (28%) in the in the One4All group compared with 115 (47%) in the standard-of-care group (Cox proportional hazard ratio 0·44, 0·19-1·01, p=0·0531).

INTERPRETATION:
Our study provides strong evidence for the benefits of a patient-centred approach to streamlined HIV testing and treatment that could help China change the trajectory of its HIV epidemic, and help to achieve the goal of an end to AIDS.

FUNDING:
US National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network and China’s National Health and Family Planning Commission.

Read the full commentary here.

Warren CE, Ndwiga C, Sripad P, Medich M, Njeru A, Maranga A, Odhiambo G, Abuya T. Sowing the seeds of transformative practice to actualize women’s rights to respectful maternity care: reflections from Kenya using the consolidated framework for implementation research. BMC women’s health. 2017 Dec;17(1):69.

Abstract
BACKGROUND:
Despite years of growing concern about poor provider attitudes and women experiencing mistreatment during facility based childbirth, there are limited interventions that specifically focus on addressing these issues. The Heshima project is an evidence-based participatory implementation research study conducted in 13 facilities in Kenya. It engaged a range of community, facility, and policy stakeholders to address the causes of mistreatment during childbirth and promote respectful maternity care.

METHODS:
We used the consolidated framework for implementation research (CFIR) as an analytical lens to describe a complex, multifaceted set of interventions through a reflexive and iterative process for triangulating qualitative data. Data from a broad range of project documents, reports, and interviews were collected at different time points during the implementation of Heshima. Assessment of in-depth interview data used NVivo (Version 10) and Atlas.ti software to inductively derive codes for themes at baseline, supplemental, and endline. Our purpose was to generate categories of themes for analysis found across the intervention design and implementation stages.

RESULTS:
The implementation process, intervention characteristics, individual champions, and inner and outer settings influenced both Heshima’s successes and challenges at policy, facility, and community levels. Implementation success stemmed from readiness for change at multiple levels, constant communication between stakeholders, and perceived importance to communities. The relative advantage and adequacy of implementation of the Respectful Maternity Care (RMC) resource package was meaningful within Kenyan politics and health policy, given the timing and national promise to improve the quality of maternity care.

CONCLUSION:
We found the CFIR lens a promising and flexible one for understanding the complex interventions. Despite the relatively nascent stage of RMC implementation research, we feel this study is an important start to understanding a range of interventions that can begin to address issues of mistreatment in maternity care; replication of these activities is needed globally to better understand if the Heshima implementation process can be successful in different countries and regions.

Read the full commentary here.

Kelso-Chichetto, N.E., Okafor, C.N., Harman, J.S., Canidate, S.S., Cook, C.L. and Cook, R.L., 2016. Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use for HIV Management in the State of Florida: Medical Monitoring Project. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 22(11), pp.880-886. PMCID: PMC5116687

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:
The aims of this study were to describe complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use and to assess the relationships between CAM use and antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) RNA viral load suppression among a sample of persons living with HIV (PLWH) engaged in care in the state of Florida.

DESIGN:
The Florida Medical Monitoring Project (n = 803) collected repeated cross-sectional data for surveillance of clinical outcomes among PLWH from 2009 to 2010. Past-year CAM use specifically for the management of HIV was measured via self-report. Logistic regression models were conducted to assess the effect of CAM use on ART adherence and viral load suppression, controlling for demographic and clinical factors using backwards stepwise deletion of factors with a p-value of >0.25.

RESULTS:
CAM use was reported in 53.3% (n = 428). In bivariate analysis, CAM use was the highest among those 40-49 years of age (61%; p < 0.05), males (56%; p < 0.01), whites (61%; p = 0.001), and those educated beyond high school (59%; p < 0.05). Among those using CAM, 63% and 37% reported one and two or more CAM modalities, respectively. CAM modalities included biologically based therapies (89%), mind-body medicine/manipulative body-based therapies (30%), spiritual healing (23%), energy therapies (6%), and whole medical systems (6%). In multivariable analyses, any CAM use and number of CAM methods used were not associated with ART adherence. Any CAM use was not associated with detectable viral load (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.81; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.58-1.12; p = 0.20). Those using two or more methods had significantly decreased risk for detectable viral load (aOR 0.60; 95% CI 0.39-0.92; p < 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS:
CAM use was not associated with negative effects on ART adherence. CAM users were less likely to have detectable viral load compared with non-users. Future research should focus on CAM use among PLWH not engaged in HIV care and the longitudinal patterns of CAM use and possible effects of long-term health outcomes.

Click here to read more.

Okafor, C.N., Zhou, Z., Burrell, L.E., Kelso, N.E., Whitehead, N.E., Harman, J.S., Cook, C.L. and Cook, R.L., 2017. Marijuana use and viral suppression in persons receiving medical care for HIV-infection. The American journal of drug and alcohol abuse, 43(1), pp.103-110. PMCID: PMC5226929

Abstract

BACKGROUND:
Marijuana use is common among persons living with HIV (PLWH), but studies on its effect on HIV clinical outcomes are limited.

OBJECTIVES:
We determined the association between marijuana use and HIV viral suppression among PLWH.

METHODS:
Data came from five repeated cross-sections (2009-2013) of the Florida Medical Monitoring Project, a population-based sample of PLWH in Florida. Data were obtained via interview and medical record abstraction (MRA). Weighted logistic regression models were used to determine the association between marijuana use (past 12 months) and durable viral suppression (HIV-1 RNA value of ≤ 200 copies/milliliter in all measurements within the past 12 months).

RESULTS:
Of the 1,902 PLWH receiving antiretroviral therapy, completed an interview, and had a linked MRA, 20% reported marijuana use (13% less than daily and 7% daily use) and 73% achieved durable viral suppression. In multivariable analysis, marijuana use was not significantly associated with durable viral suppression in daily [Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR): 0.87, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.58, 1.33] or in less than daily [AOR: 0.83, 95% CI: 0.51, 1.37] users as compared to non-users when adjusting for sociodemographic factors, time since HIV diagnosis, depressive symptoms, alcohol, cigarette and other substance use.

CONCLUSION:
In this sample of PLWH receiving medical care in Florida, there was no statistically significant association between marijuana use and viral suppression. However, as the limits of the confidence intervals include effects that may be considered to be clinically important, there is a need for additional evidence from other samples and settings that include more marijuana users.

Click here to read more.

Okafor, C.N., Kelso, N.E., Bryant, V., Burrell, L.E., Míguez, M.J., Gongvatana, A., Tashima, K.T., de la Monte, S., Cook, R.L. and Cohen, R.A., 2017. Body mass index, inflammatory biomarkers and neurocognitive impairment in HIV-infected persons. Psychology, health & medicine, 22(3), pp.289-302. PMCID: PMC5173436

Abstract
To determine the relationships among body mass index (BMI), and HIV-associated neurocognitive impairment and the potential mediating effects of inflammatory cytokines. Among the HIV-infected individuals (N = 90) included in this study, obesity was associated with slower processing speed (β = -.229, standard error (SE) = 2.15, p = .033), compared to participants with a normal BMI, after controlling for psychosocial and HIV clinical factors. Serum concentrations of the interleukin-16 (IL-16) cytokine were significantly associated with slowed processing speed (β = -.235, SE = 1.62, p = .033) but did not mediate the relationship between obesity and processing speed These findings suggest that obesity may contribute to cognitive processing speed deficits in HIV-infected adults. Elevated concentrations of IL-16 are also associated with slowing, though the results suggest that obesity and IL-16 may exert independent effects.

Click here to read more.

Akhtar-Khaleel, W.Z., Cook, R.L., Shoptaw, S., Miller, E.N., Sacktor, N., Surkan, P.J., Becker, J., Teplin, L.A., Beyth, R.J., Price, C. and Plankey, M., 2017. Association of midlife smoking status with change in processing speed and mental flexibility among HIV-seropositive and HIV-seronegative older men: the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study. Journal of neurovirology, 23(2), pp.239-249. PMCID: PMC5663220

Abstract
Smoking is a potential risk factor for age-related cognitive decline. To date, no study has examined the association between smoking and cognitive decline in men living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The aim of this present study is to examine whether smoking status and severity in midlife is associated with a rate of decline in cognitive processing speed among older HIV-seropositive and HIV-seronegative men who have sex with men. Data from 591 older HIV-seropositive and HIV-seronegative men who have sex with men from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study were examined. All participants had information on smoking history collected before age 50 years and at least 5 years of follow-up after age 50. Smoking history was categorized as never smoker, former smoker, and current smoker and cumulative pack years was calculated. The raw scores of three neuropsychological tests (Trail Making A, Trail Making B, and Symbol Digit Modalities tests) were log transformed (Trail Making A and B) and used in linear mixed models to determine associations between smoking history and at least subsequent 5-year decline in cognitive processing speed. There were no significant differences in the rates of neurological decline among never smokers, former smokers, and current smokers. Findings were similar among HIV-seropositive participants. However, an increase of 5 pack-years was statistically significantly associated with a greater rate of decline in the Trail Making Test B score and Composite Score (β -0.0250 [95% CI, -0.0095 to -0.0006] and -0.0077 [95% CI, -0.0153 to -0.0002], respectively). We found no significant association between smoking treated as a categorical variable (never smoked, former smoker, or current smoker) and a small change in every increase of 5 pack-years on measures of psychomotor speed and cognitive flexibility. To optimize healthy aging, interventions for smoking cessation should be tailored to men who have sex with men.

Click here to read more.

Samantha J. Brooks, Christine Lochner, Steve Shoptaw, Dan J. Stein. Using the research domain criteria (RDoC) to conceptualize impulsivity and compulsivity in relation to addiction. Progress in Brain Research. Volume 235, 2017, Pages 177-218

Abstract

Nomenclature for mental disorder was updated in 2013 with the publication of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5). In DSM-5, substance use disorders are framed as more dimensional. First, the distinction between abuse and dependence is replaced by substance use. Second, the addictions section now covers both substances and behavioral addictions. This contemporary move toward dimensionality and transdiagnosis in the addictions and other disorders embrace accumulating cognitive-affective neurobiological evidence that is reflected in the United States’ National Institutes of Health Research Domain Criteria (nih RDoC). The RDoC calls for the further development of transdiagnostic approaches to psychopathy and includes five domains to improve research. Additionally, the RDoC suggests that these domains can be measured in terms of specific units of analysis. In line with these suggestions, recent publications have stimulated updated neurobiological conceptualizations of two transdiagnostic concepts, namely impulsivity and compulsivity and their interactions that are applicable to addictive disorders. However, there has not yet been a review to examine the constructs of impulsivity and compulsivity in relation to addiction in light of the research-oriented RDoC. By doing so it may become clearer as to whether imulsivity and compulsivity function antagonistically, complementarily or in some other way at the behavioral, cognitive, and neural level and how this relationship underpins addiction. Thus, here we consider research into impulsivity and compulsivity in light of the transdiagnostic RDoC to help better understand these concepts and their application to evidence-based clinical intervention for addiction.

Click here to read more.

Nina T. Harawa, Ian W. Holloway, Arleen Leibowitz, Robert Weiss, Jennifer Gildner, Raphael J. Landovitz, Mario J. Perez, Sonali Kulkarni, Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus, and Steven Shoptaw Serious concerns regarding a meta-analysis of preexposure prophylaxis use and STI acquisition. AIDS. 2017 Mar 13; 31(5): 739–740. PMCID: PMC5580999

Summary

An article in AIDS by Kojima and colleagues posits that high unadjusted rates for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) users in five studies, compared with low unadjusted rates for PrEP nonusers in 14 studies [1], reflect increased sexual risk behaviors following PrEP uptake. They conclude with a call to reconsider how this important HIV prevention strategy is implemented.
Distortions of these findings were disseminated by activists opposing widespread PrEP implementation. One large provider of HIV treatment and testing services summarized the research letter as ‘a damning new report showing a dangerous link between the usage of PrEP by MSM and an astronomical increase in STIs.’ In an effort to understand more about the claims of Kojima et al we reviewed the data and the analyses and found several serious problems.

Click here to read more.

J. Ober, D. T. Dangerfield II, S. Shoptaw, G. Ryan, B. Stucky, S. R. Friedman. Using a ‘‘Positive Deviance’’ Framework to Discover Adaptive Risk Reduction Behaviors Among High-Risk HIV Negative Black Men Who Have Sex with Men. AIDS Behav. 2017 May 13. Pp 1-14

Abstract

Despite the high incidence of HIV among young Black MSM in the United States and engagement in high risk behaviors, many men in this group avoid infection. This suggests that some men may engage in systematic risk reduction behaviors when not always using condoms or abstaining from substances. Using a “positive deviance” framework, we conducted qualitative interviews with HIV-negative, Black MSM between 25 and 35 who reported unprotected anal sex and drug use in the past six months or current heavy drinking (N = 29) to discover behaviors that could facilitate remaining HIV-uninfected. Findings showed that MSM who remain HIV negative despite continuing to engage in high-risk behaviors may be engaging in adaptive risk reduction behaviors that, through successive decisions and advance planning along the timeline to a sexual event, could lead to increased condom use, avoidance or delay of a risky sexual event, or reduction of HIV positive partners.

Click here to read more.

Ronald A Brooks, Vincent C Allen Jr, Rotrease Regan, Matt G Mutchler, Ramon Cervantes-Tadeo and Sung-Jae Lee. HIV/AIDS conspiracy beliefs and intention to adopt preexposure prophylaxis among black men who have sex with men in Los Angeles. International Journal of STD & AIDS. Volume: 29 issue: 4, page(s): 375-381

Abstract

In the United States, black men who have sex with men (MSM) are the group most affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an important new HIV prevention strategy that may help reduce new HIV infections among black MSM. This analysis examined the association between HIV/AIDS conspiracy beliefs and intentions to adopt PrEP among 224 black MSM. The likelihood of adopting PrEP was assessed and more than half (60%) of the study population indicated a high intention to adopt PrEP. HIV/AIDS genocidal and treatment-related conspiracies were assessed using scales previously validated with black MSM. Almost two-thirds (63%) endorsed at least one of eight HIV/AIDS conspiracy beliefs presented. In multivariable analyses, black MSM who agreed with the genocidal or treatment-related conspiracy beliefs scales had a lower intention to adopt PrEP (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR] = 0.73, 95% CI = 0.54, 0.99 and AOR = 0.36, 95% CI = 0.23, 0.55, respectively). Our findings indicate that preexisting HIV/AIDS conspiracy beliefs may deter some black MSM from adopting PrEP. We suggest strategies PrEP implementers may want to employ to address the influence that HIV/AIDS conspiracy beliefs may have on the adoption of PrEP among black MSM, a population disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS.

Click here to read more.

Daniel J. O. Roche, Matthew J. Worley, Kelly E. Courtney, Spencer Bujarski, Edythe D. London, Steven Shoptaw, Lara A. Ray. Naltrexone moderates the relationship between cue-induced craving and subjective response to methamphetamine in individuals with methamphetamine use disorder. Pyschopharmacology. July 2017, Volume 234, Issue 13, pp 1997–2007. PMCID: PMC5480611

Abstract

RATIONALE:
Reductions in cue-induced craving and subjective response to drugs of abuse are commonly used as initial outcome measures when testing novel medications for the treatment of addiction. Yet neither the relationship between these two measures at the individual level nor the moderating effects of pharmacotherapies on this relationship has been examined.

OBJECTIVE:
This secondary data analysis sought to examine (1) the predictive relationship between cue-induced craving and subsequent acute subjective response to methamphetamine (MA) and (2) whether the opioid-receptor antagonist naltrexone moderated this association in a sample of non-treatment-seeking individuals who met DSM-IV criteria for MA use disorder (abuse or dependence).

METHODS:
Participants (n = 30) completed two 4-day medication regimens (oral naltrexone 50 mg or placebo, in a randomized, counterbalanced, and double-blind fashion). On day 4 of each medication regimen, participants completed a cue-reactivity paradigm followed by intravenous MA administration. Methamphetamine craving was assessed after the cue-reactivity paradigm, and subjective response to MA was assessed during MA infusion.

RESULTS:
Cue-induced craving for MA was positively associated with post-infusion subjective MA effects, including positive (i.e., stimulation, good effects, feel drug, high), negative (i.e., anxious and depressed), and craving-related (i.e., want more, would like access to drug, crave) responses. Naltrexone, vs. placebo, significantly reduced the association between cue-induced craving and positive subjective response to MA.

CONCLUSIONS:
The findings indicate that naltrexone moderates the predictive relationship between cue-induced craving and positive subjective effects of MA, thereby suggesting a behavioral mechanism by which naltrexone may be efficacious in treating MA use disorder.

Click here to read more.

Matthew J. Worley, Keith G. Heinzerling, Steven Shoptaw, Walter Ling. Volatility and change in chronic pain severity predict outcomes of treatment for prescription opioid addiction. Addiction. Volume 112, Issue 7 July 2017. Pages 1202–1209. PMCID: PMC5461207

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS:
Buprenorphine-naloxone (BUP-NLX) can be used to manage prescription opioid addiction among persons with chronic pain, but post-treatment relapse is common and difficult to predict. This study estimated whether changes in pain over time and painvolatility during BUP-NLX maintenance would predict opioid use during the taper BUP-NLX taper.

DESIGN:
Secondary analysis of a multi-site clinical trial for prescription opioid addiction, using data obtained during a 12-week BUP-NLX stabilization and 4-week BUP-NLX taper.

SETTING:
Community clinics affiliated with a national clinical trials network in 10 US cities.

PARTICIPANTS:
Subjects with chronic pain who entered the BUP-NLX taper phase (n = 125) with enrollment occurring from June 2006 to July 2009 (52% male, 88% Caucasian, 31% married).

MEASUREMENTS:
Outcomes were weekly biologically verified and self-reported opioid use from the 4-week taper phase. Predictors were estimates of baseline severity, rate of change and volatility in pain from weekly self-reports during the 12-week maintenance phase.

FINDINGS:
Controlling for baseline pain and treatment condition, increased pain [odds ratio (OR) = 2.38, P = 0.02] and greater pain volatility(OR = 2.43, P = 0.04) predicted greater odds of positive opioid urine screen during BUP-NLX taper. Increased pain (IRR = 1.40, P = 0.04) and greater pain volatility [incidence-rate ratio (IRR) = 1.66, P = 0.009] also predicted greater frequency of self-reported opioid use.

CONCLUSIONS:
Adults with chronic pain receiving out-patient treatment with buprenorphine-naloxone (BUP-NLX) for prescription opioidaddiction have an elevated risk for opioid use when tapering off maintenance treatment. Those with relative persistence in pain over time and greater volatility in pain during treatment are less likely to sustain abstinence during BUP-NLX taper.

Click here to read more.

Zhang Y, Clarke W, Marzinke MA, Piwowar-Manning E, Beauchamp G, Breaud A, Hendrix CW, Cloherty GA, Emel L, Rose S, Hightow-Weidman L, Siegel M, Shoptaw S, Fields SD, Wheeler D, Eshleman SH. 2017. Evaluation of a multidrug assay for monitoring adherence to a regimen for HIV preexposure prophylaxis in a clinical study, HIV Prevention Trials Network 073. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 61:e02743-16. PMCID: PMC5487665

Abstract
Daily oral tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF)-emtricitabine (FTC) is a safe and effective intervention for HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP). We evaluated the performance of a qualitative assay that detects 20 antiretroviral (ARV) drugs (multidrug assay) in assessing recent PrEP exposure (detection limit, 2 to 20 ng/ml). Samples were obtained from 216 Black men who have sex with men (208 HIV-uninfected men and 8 seroconverters) who were enrolled in a study in the United States evaluating the acceptability of TDF-FTC PrEP (165 of the uninfected men and 5 of the seroconverters accepted PrEP). Samples from 163 of the 165 HIV-uninfected men who accepted PrEP and samples from all 8 seroconverters were also tested for tenofovir (TFV) and FTC using a quantitative assay (detection limit for both drugs, 0.31 ng/ml). HIV drug resistance was assessed in seroconverter samples.

The multidrug assay detected TFV and/or FTC in 3 (1.4%) of the 208 uninfected men at enrollment, 84 (40.4%) of the 208 uninfected men at the last study visit, and 1 (12.5%) of the 8 seroconverters. No other ARV drugs were detected. The quantitative assay confirmed all positive results from the multidrug assay and detected TFV and/or FTC in 9 additional samples (TFV range, 0.65 to 16.5 ng/ml; FTC range, 0.33 to 14.6 ng/ml). Resistance mutations were detected in 4 of the 8 seroconverter samples. The multidrug assay had 100% sensitivity and specificity for detecting TFV and FTC at drug concentrations consistent with daily PrEP use. The quantitative assay detected TFV and FTC at lower levels, which also might have provided protection against HIV infection.

Click here to read more.

Allison J. Ober, Katherine E. Watkins, Sarah B. Hunter, Brett Ewing, Karen Lamp, Mimi Lind, Kirsten Becker, Keith Heinzerling, Karen C. Osilla, Allison L. Diamant, and Claude M. Setodji.. Assessing and improving organizational readiness to implement substance use disorder treatment in primary care: findings from the SUMMIT study. BMC Fam Pract. 2017; 18: 107. PMCID: PMC5740845

Abstract

BACKGROUND:
Millions of people with substance use disorders (SUDs) need, but do not receive, treatment. Delivering SUD treatment in primary care settings could increase access to treatment because most people visit their primary care doctors at least once a year, but evidence-based SUD treatments are underutilized in primary care settings. We used and organizational readiness intervention comprised of a cluster of implementation strategies to prepare a federally qualified health center to deliver SUD screening and evidence-based treatments (extended-release injectable naltrexone (XR-NTX) for alcohol use disorders, buprenorphine/naloxone (BUP/NX) for opioid use disorders and a brief motivational interviewing/cognitive behavioral -based psychotherapy for both disorders). This article reports the effects of the intervention on key implementation outcomes.

METHODS:
To assess changes in organizational readiness we conducted pre- and post-intervention surveys with prescribing medical providers, behavioral health providers and general clinic staff (N = 69). We report on changes in implementation outcomes: acceptability, perceptions of appropriateness and feasibility, and intention to adopt the evidence-based treatments. We used Wilcoxon signed rank tests to analyze pre- to post-intervention changes.

RESULTS:
After 18 months, prescribing medical providers agreed more that XR-NTX was easier to use for patients with alcohol use disorders than before the intervention, but their opinions about the effectiveness and ease of use of BUP/NX for patients with opioid use disorders did not improve. Prescribing medical providers also felt more strongly after the intervention that XR-NTX for alcohol use disorders was compatible with current practices. Opinions of general clinic staff about the appropriateness of SUD treatment in primary care improved significantly.

CONCLUSIONS:
Consistent with implementation theory, we found that an organizational readiness implementation intervention enhanced perceptions in some domains of practice acceptability and appropriateness. Further research will assess whether these factors, which focus on individual staff readiness, change over time and ultimately predict adoption of SUD treatments in primary care.

Click here to read more.

Nyamathi, A., Reback, C. J., Shoptaw, S., Salem, B. E., Zhang, S., & Yadav, K. (2017). Impact of Tailored Interventions to Reduce Drug Use and Sexual Risk Behaviors Among Homeless Gay and Bisexual Men. American Journal of Men’s Health, 11(2), 208–220. PMCID: PMC5675281

Abstract

A randomized controlled trial was conducted with homeless gay and bisexual men to assess the impact of two culturally sensitive intervention programs on reduction of drug use and risky sexual behavior. In this study, gay and bisexual men between 18 and 46 years of age were randomly assigned to one of two culturally sensitive behavioral intervention programs: a Nurse Case Management Plus Contingency Management (NCM + CM; n = 204) or a Standard Education Plus Contingency Management (SE + CM; n = 210) program. Regardless of group assignment, significant and clinically relevant reductions were observed in stimulant use over time. Multivariable predictors of stimulant use at 4- and 8-month follow-up evaluations were recent injection drug use, tested positive for HIV, or for use of amphetamine. Data revealed a significant linear decline over time for those who had sex with multiple partners. Furthermore, being HIV positive was associated with reporting multiple partners, while higher homophobia scores and having children were inversely related to reports of having sex with multiple partners at follow-up. Culturally sensitive approaches are needed to successfully reduce drug use and risky sexual activities among gay and bisexual populations.

Click here to read more.

Lillian Gelberg, Ronald M.Andersen, Melvin W.Rico, ManiVahidi, Guillermina Natera Rey, Steve Shoptaw, Barbara D.Leake, MartinSerota, KyleSingleton, Sebastian E.Baumeister. A pilot replication of QUIT, a randomized controlled trial of a brief intervention for reducing risky drug use, among Latino primary care patients. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Volume 179, 1 October 2017, Pages 433-440 PMCID: PMC5796764

Abstract

BACKGROUND:
QUIT is the only primary care-based brief intervention that has previously shown efficacy for reducing risky drug use in the United States (Gelberg et al., 2015). This pilot study replicated the QUIT protocol in one of the five original QUIT clinics primarily serving Latinos.

DESIGN:
Single-blind, two-arm, randomized controlled trial of patients enrolled from March-October 2013 with 3-month follow-up.

SETTING:
Primary care waiting room of a federally qualified health center (FQHC) in East Los Angeles.

PARTICIPANTS:
Adult patients with risky drug use (4-26 on the computerized WHO ASSIST): 65 patients (32 intervention, 33 control); 51 (78%) completed follow-up; mean age 30.8 years; 59% male; 94% Latino.

INTERVENTIONS AND MEASURES:
Intervention patients received: 1) brief (typically 3-4 minutes) clinician advice to quit/reduce their riskydrug use, 2) video doctor message reinforcing the clinician’s advice, 3) health education booklet, and 4) up to two 20-30 minute follow-up telephone drug use reduction coaching sessions. Control patients received usual care and cancer screening information. Primary outcome was reduction in number of days of drug use in past 30days of the highest scoring drug (HSD) on the baseline ASSIST, from baseline to 3-month follow-up.

RESULTS:
Controls reported unchanged HSD use between baseline and 3-month follow-up whereas Intervention patients reported reducingtheir use by 40% (p<0.001). In an intent-to-treat linear regression analysis, intervention patients reduced past month HSD use by 4.5 more days than controls (p<0.042, 95% CI: 0.2, 8.7). Similar significant results were found using a complete sample regression analysis: 5.2 days (p<0.03, 95% CI: 0.5, 9.9). Additionally, on logistical regression analysis of test results from 47 urine samples at follow-up, intervention patients were less likely than controls to test HSD positive (p<0.05; OR: 0.10, 95% CI: 0.01, 0.99).

CONCLUSIONS:
Findings support the efficacy of the QUIT brief intervention for reducing risky drug use.

Click here to read more.

2016

Iris Chen, Gordon Chau, Jing Wang, William Clarke, Mark A. Marzinke, Vanessa Cummings, Autumn Breaud, Oliver Laeyendecker, Sheldon D. Fields, Sam Griffith, Hyman M. Scott, Steven Shoptaw, Carlos del Rio, Manya Magnus, Sharon Mannheimer, Hong-Van Tieu, Darrell P. Wheeler, Kenneth H. Mayer, Beryl A. Koblin, Susan H. Eshleman. (2016). Analysis of HIV Diversity in HIV-Infected Black Men Who Have Sex with Men (HPTN 061). Plos One. 2016 December 9. PMCID: PMC5147928

Abstract

Summary:

Background: HIV populations often diversify in response to selective pressures, such as the immune response and antiretroviral drug use. We analyzed HIV diversity in Black men who have sex with men who were enrolled in the HIV Prevention Trials Network 061 study.

Methods:

A high resolution melting (HRM) diversity assay was used to measure diversity in six regions of the HIV genome: two in gag, one in pol, and three in env. HIV diversity was analyzed for 146 men who were HIV infected at study enrollment, including three with acute infection and 13 with recent infection (identified using a multi-assay algorithm), and for 21 men who seroconverted during the study. HIV diversification was analyzed in a paired analysis for 62 HIV-infected men using plasma samples from the enrollment and 12-month (end of study) visits.

Results:

Men with acute or recent infection at enrollment and seroconverters had lower median HRM scores (lower HIV diversity) than men with non-recent infection in all six regions analyzed. In univariate analyses, younger age, higher CD4 cell count, and HIV drug resistance were associated with lower median HRM scores in multiple regions; ARV drug detection was marginally associated with lower diversity in the pol region. In multivariate analysis, acute or recent infection (all six regions) and HIV drug resistance (both gag regions) were associated with lower median HRM scores. Diversification in the pol region over 12 months was greater for men with acute or recent infection, higher CD4 cell count, and lower HIV viral load at study enrollment.

Conclusions:

HIV diversity was significantly associated with duration of HIV infection, and lower gag diversity was observed in men who had HIV drug resistance. HIV pol diversification was more pronounced in men with acute or recent infection, higher CD4 cell count, and lower HIV viral load.

Read the full commentary here.

Steve Shoptaw, Raphael Landovitz, Cathy Reback. Contingent Vs Non-Contingent Rewards: Time-Based Intervention Response Patterns Among Stimulant-Using Men Who Have Sex With Men. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. Volume 72. 2016 September. Pages 19-24. PMCID: PMC5922444

Abstract/Summary

Stimulant use rates are higher among men who have sex with men (MSM) than the general population. Contingency management (CM) may be an effective intervention for reducing stimulant use in this population. To specify both the mechanism and temporal effects of contingent reward on behavior change, logistic growth trajectory modeling (LGTM) was used to contrast a non-contingent matched rewards condition (i.e., non-contingent yoked controls; NCYC) to a voucher-based CM intervention (maximum= $430) to reduce stimulant use among MSM. Stimulant-using MSM were randomized to either a CM intervention (n=70) or a NCYC condition (n=70). Results from a LGTM (analytical sample n=119; nCM=61; nNCYC=58) indicated four distinct intervention response patterns: responders (i.e., predicted > 90% stimulant metabolite-free urinalyses; 64.7% of sample); worsening intervention response (14.3%); non-responders (12.6%); and, single-positive (8.4%); all estimated trajectory coefficients were significant at p < 0.03 (2-tailed). Participants receiving CM were significantly overrepresented in the responder (64%) and single-positive (80%) categories (χ2(3) = 29.04; p < 0.001); all non-responders and 76.5% of the worsening intervention response category were in the NCYC condition. Results demonstrate the utility of trajectory modeling and further support the contingent application of reward as the operative mechanism associated with patterns of stimulant abstinence with CM applied to a sample of stimulant-using MSM outside the context of formal drug treatment.

Read the full commentary here.

Heinzerling KG, Demirdjian L, Wu Y, Shoptaw S. Single nucleotide polymorphism near CREB1, rs7591784, is associated with pretreatment methamphetamine use frequency and outcome of outpatient treatment for methamphetamine use disorder. J Psychiatr Res. 2016 Mar;74:22-9. PMCID: PMC5053101

Abstract

Although stimulant dependence is highly heritable, few studies have examined genetic influences on methamphetamine dependence. We performed a candidate gene study of 52 SNPs and pretreatment methamphetamine use frequency among 263 methamphetamine dependent Hispanic and Non-Hispanic White participants of several methamphetamine outpatient clinical trials in Los Angeles. One SNP, rs7591784 was significantly associated with pretreatment methamphetamine use frequency following Bonferroni correction (p < 0.001) in males but not females. We then examined rs7591784 and methamphetamine urine drug screen results during 12 weeks of outpatient treatment among males with treatment outcome data available (N = 94) and found rs7591784 was significantly associated with methamphetamine use during treatment controlling for pretreatment methamphetamine use. rs7591784 is near CREB1 and in a linkage disequilibrium block with rs2952768, previously shown to influence CREB1 expression. The CREB signaling pathway is involved in gene expression changes related to chronic use of multiple drugs of abuse including methamphetamine and these results suggest that variability in CREB signaling may influence pretreatment frequency of methamphetamine use as well as outcomes of outpatient treatment. Medications targeting the CREB pathway, including phosphodiesterase inhibitors, warrant investigation as pharmacotherapies for methamphetamine use disorders.

To read more, click here.

Schaper E, Padwa H, Urada D, Shoptaw S. Substance use disorder patient privacy and comprehensive care in integrated health care settings. Psychol Serv. 2016 Feb;13(1):105-9.

Abstract

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) expands health insurance coverage for substance use disorder (SUD) treatment, underscoring the value of improving SUD service integration in primarily physical health care settings. It is not yet known to what degree specialized privacyregulations-Code of Federal Regulations Title 42, Part 2 (42 CFR Part 2), in particular-will affect access to or the utilization and delivery of SUD treatment in primary care. In addition to exploring the emerging benefits and barriers that specialized confidentiality regulations pose to treatment in early adopting integrated health care settings, this article introduces and explicates 42 CFR Part 2 to support provider and administrator implementation of SUD privacy regulations in integrated settings. The authors also argue that, although intended to protect patients with SUD, special SUD information protection may inadvertently reinforce stigma against patients by purporting the belief that SUD is different from other health problems and must be kept private. In turn, this stigma may inhibit the delivery of comprehensive integrated care.

To read more, click here.

DeYoung D, Heinzerling KG, Swanson AN, Tsuang J, Furst B, Yi Y, Wu YN, Moody D, Andrenyak D, Shoptaw S. Safety of Intravenous Methamphetamine Administration during Ibudilast Treatment. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2016 Aug;(36(4):347-354. PMCID: PMC4927401

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Methamphetamine dependence is a significant public health concern without any approved medications for treatment. We evaluated ibudilast, a nonselective phosphodiesterase inhibitor, to assess the safety and tolerability during intravenous methamphetamineadministration. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subjects crossover clinical trial.

METHODS:

Participants received ibudilast (20 mg twice daily followed by 50 mg twice daily) and placebo, with order determined by randomization, and then underwent intravenous methamphetamine challenges (15 and 30 mg). We monitored cardiovascular effects, methamphetamine pharmacokinetics, and reported adverse events.

RESULTS:

Ibudilast treatment had similar rates of adverse events compared with placebo, and there was no significant augmentation of cardiovascular effects of methamphetamine. Pharmacokinetic analysis revealed no clinically significant change in maximum concentration or half-life of methamphetamine with ibudilast.

CONCLUSIONS:

Methamphetamine administration during ibudilast treatment was well tolerated without additive cardiovascular effects or serious adverse events, providing initial safety data to pursue ibudilast’s effectiveness for the treatment of methamphetamine dependence.

To read more, click here.

Nelson LE, Wilton L, Zhang N, Regan R, Thach CT, Dyer TV, Kushwaha S, Sanders RE 2nd, Ndoye O, Mayer KH; HPTN 061 Study Team. Childhood Exposure to Religions With High Prevalence of Members Who Discourage Homosexuality Is Associated With Adult HIV Risk Behaviors and HIV Infection in Black Men Who Have Sex With Men. Am J Mens Health. 2016 Jan 12. PMCID: PMC5675212

Abstract

Exposure to childhood religious affiliations where the majority of members discourage homosexuality may have negative psychological impacts for Black men who have sex with men. This study tested the hypothesis that exposures to these environments during childhood were associated with adulthood human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/sexually transmitted infection (STI) behavioral risk and HIV infection, because these exposures influenced HIV/STI risk by undermining race/sexual identity congruence and increasing internalized homophobia and interpersonal anxiety. Structural equation modeling as well as logistic and Poisson regressions were performed using baseline data from HIV Prevention Trials Network 061 ( N = 1,553). Childhood religion affiliations that were more discouraging of homosexuality were associatedwith increased likelihood of HIV infection; however, the association was no longer significant after adjusting for age, income, and education. Having a childhood religion affiliation with high prevalence of beliefs discouraging homosexuality was associated with increased numbers of sexual partners (adjusted odds ratio = 4.31; 95% confidence interval [3.76, 4.94], p < .01). The hypothesized path model was largely supported and accounted for 37% of the variance in HIV infection; however, interpersonal anxiety was not associated with HIV/STI risk behaviors. Structural interventions are needed that focus on developing affirming theologies in religious institutions with Black men who have sex with men congregants.

To read more, click here.

Shoptaw S. A few words on “Which medications are suitable for agonist drug maintenance”. Addiction. 2016 May;111(5):778-9.

Abstract

Commentary: Misuse of psychoactive substances that cause harm to physical health and to social, familial and occupational functioning is a serious and growing public health problem 1. Due to this, the need for high‐efficacy and high‐impact treatments for addiction is becoming increasingly important. Agonist maintenance strategies represent an approach with demonstrated efficacy and impact observed since the 1960s, when methadone treatment for heroin addiction began 2. Recent adoption of the agonist strategy is noted in China 3 and several countries in southeast Asia 4. While agonist maintenance strategies are promising, one drawback to wide‐scale adoption (with the exception of nicotine replacement) relates to the need for clinical infrastructure to assure safe delivery of the medications. Thus, Darke & Farrell’s review and analyses provide a timely, sound and rational method for considering agonist maintenance treatments.

To read more, click here.

Worley MJ, Heinzerling KG, Roche DJ, Shoptaw S. Ibudilast attenuates subjective effects of methamphetamine in a placebo-controlled inpatient study. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2016 May 1;162:245-50. PMCID: PMC5349508

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Despite numerous clinical trials no efficacious medications for methamphetamine (MA) have been identified. Neuroinflammation, which has a role in MA-related reward and neurodegeneration, is a novel MA pharmacotherapy target. Ibudilast inhibits activation of microglia and pro-inflammatory cytokines and has reduced MA self-administration in preclinical research. This study examined whether ibudilast would reduce subjective effects of MA in humans.

METHODS:

Adult, non-treatment seeking, MA-dependent volunteers (N=11) received oral placebo, moderate ibudilast (40 mg), and high-dose ibudilast (100mg) via twice-daily dosing for 7 days each in an inpatient setting. Following infusions of saline, MA 15 mg, and MA 30 mg participants rated 12 subjective drug effects on a visual analog scale (VAS).

RESULTS:

As demonstrated by statistically-significant ibudilast × MA condition interactions (p<.05), ibudilast reduced several MA-related subjective effects including High, Effect (i.e., any drug effect), Good, Stimulated and Like. The ibudilast-related reductions were most pronounced in the MA 30 mg infusions, with ibudilast 100mg significantly reducing Effect (97.5% CI [-12.54, -2.27]), High (97.5% CI [-12.01, -1.65]), and Good (97.5% CI [-11.20, -0.21]), compared to placebo.

CONCLUSIONS:

Ibudilast appeared to reduce reward-related subjective effects of MA in this early-stage study, possibly due to altering the processes of neuroinflammation involved in MA reward. Given this novel mechanism of action and the absence of an efficacious medication for MA dependence, ibudilast warrants further study to evaluate its clinical efficacy.

To read more, click here.

Akhtar-Khaleel WZ, Cook RL, Shoptaw S, Surkan PJ, Teplin LA, Stall R, Beyth RJ, Manini TM, Plankey M. Long-Term Cigarette Smoking Trajectories Among HIV-Seropositive and Seronegative MSM in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study. AIDS Behav. 2016 Aug;20(8):1713-21.PMCID: PMC4945456.

Abstract

To examine the association between demographic characteristics and long-term smoking trajectory group membership among HIV-seropositive and HIV-seronegative men who have sex with men (MSM). A cohort of 6552 MSM from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study were asked detailed information about their smoking history since their last follow-up. Group-based trajectory modeling was used to examine smoking behavior and identify trajectory group membership. Because participants enrolled after 2001 were more likely to be younger, HIV-seronegative, non-Hispanic black, and have a high school diploma or less, we also assessed time of enrollment in our analysis. Participants were grouped into 4 distinct smoking trajectory groups: persistent nonsmoker (n = 3737 [55.9 %]), persistent light smoker (n = 663 [11.0 %]), heavy smoker to nonsmoker (n = 531 [10.0 %]), and persistent heavy smoker (n = 1604 [23.1 %]). Compared with persistent nonsmokers, persistent heavy smokers were associated with being enrolled in 2001 and later (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 2.35; 95 % CI 2.12-2.58), having a high school diploma or less (aOR 3.22; 95 % CI 3.05-3.39), and being HIV-seropositive (aOR 1.17; 95 % CI 1.01-1.34). These associations were statistically significant across all trajectory groups for time of enrollment and education but not for HIV serostatus. The overall decrease of smoking as shown by our trajectory groups is consistent with the national trend. Characteristics associated with smoking group trajectory membership should be considered in the development of targeted smoking cessation interventions among MSM and people living with HIV.

To read more, click here.

Choi TK, Worley MJ, Trim RS, Howard D, Brown SA, Hopfer CJ, Hewitt JK, Wall TL. Effect of adolescent substance use and antisocial behavior on the development of early adulthood depression. Psychiatry Res. 2016 Apr 30;238:143-9. PMCID: PMC5094832

Abstract

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a prevalent and frequently comorbid psychiatric disorder. This study evaluates the development of depressive symptoms, MDD diagnosis, and suicidal ideation in a high-risk sample (N=524) diagnosed with conduct disorder (CD) and substance use disorder (SUD) symptoms as youth and re-assessed approximately 6.5 years later. Dual trajectory classes of both alcohol and other drug use (AOD) and antisocial behavior (ASB), previously identified using latent class growth analyses (LCGA), were used to predict depression outcomes. The Dual Chronic, Increasing AOD/Persistent ASB, and Decreasing Drugs/Persistent ASB classes had higher past-week depression scores, more past-year MDD symptoms, and were more likely to have past-year MDD than the Resolved class. The Dual Chronic and Decreasing Drugs/Persistent ASB classes also had more past-year MDD symptoms than the Persistent AOD/Adolescent ASB class. Youth at highest risk for developing or maintaining depression in adulthood had the common characteristic of persistent antisocialbehavior. This suggests young adulthood depression is associated more with persistent antisocial behavior than with persistent substance use in comorbid youth. As such, interventions targeting high-risk youth, particularly those with persistent antisocial behavior, are needed to help reduce the risk of severe psychosocial consequences (including risk for suicide) in adulthood.

To read more, click here.

Okafor CN, Cook RL, Chen X, Surkan PJ, Becker JT, Shoptaw S, Martin E, Plankey MW. Trajectories of Marijuana Use among HIV-seropositive and HIV-seronegative MSM in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS). AIDS Behavior. 2017 Apr;21(4):1091-1104. PMCID: PMC5136352

Abstract

To construct longitudinal trajectories of marijuana use in a sample of men who have sex with men living with or at-risk for HIV infection. We determined factors associated with distinct trajectories of use as well as those that serve to modify the course of the trajectory. Data were from 3658 [1439 HIV-seropositive (HIV+) and 2219 HIV-seronegative (HIV-)] participants of the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study. Frequency of marijuana use was obtained semiannually over a 29-year period (1984-2013). Group-based trajectory models were used to identify the trajectories and to determine predictors and modifiers of the trajectories over time. Four distinct trajectories of marijuana use were identified: abstainer/infrequent (65 %), decreaser (13 %), increaser (12 %) and chronic high (10 %) use groups. HIV+ status was significantly associated with increased odds of membership in the decreaser, increaser and chronic high use groups. Alcohol, smoking, stimulant and other recreational drug use were associated with increasing marijuana use across all four trajectory groups. Antiretroviral therapy use over time was associated with decreasing marijuana use in the abstainer/infrequent and increaser trajectory groups. Having a detectable HIV viral load was associated with increasing marijuana use in the increaser group only. Future investigations are needed to determine whether long-term patterns of use are associated with adverse consequences especially among HIV+ persons.

To read more, click here.

Adam W. Carrico, Jennifer Jain, Michael V. Discepola, David Olem, Rick Andrews, William J. Woods, Torsten B. Neilands, Steven Shoptaw, Walter Gómez, Samantha E. Dilworth, Judith T. Moskowitz. A community-engaged randomized controlled trial of an integrative intervention with HIV-positive, methamphetamine-using men who have sex with men. BMC Public Health. 2016; 16: 673. PMCID: PMC4967339

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Contingency management (CM) is an evidence-based intervention providing tangible rewards as positive reinforcement for abstinence from stimulants such as methamphetamine. Integrative approaches targeting affect regulation could boost the effectiveness of CM in community-based settings and optimize HIV/AIDS prevention efforts.

METHODS/DESIGN:

This randomized controlled trial with HIV-positive, methamphetamine-using men who have sex with men (MSM) is examining the efficacy of a 5-session, individually delivered positive affect regulation intervention – Affect Regulation Treatment to Enhance Methamphetamine Intervention Success (ARTEMIS). ARTEMIS is designed to sensitize individuals to non-drug-related sources of reward as well as assist with managing depression and other symptoms of stimulant withdrawal during CM. HIV-positive, methamphetamine-using MSM who are enrolled in a community-based, 12-week CM program are randomized to receive ARTEMIS or an attention-matched control condition. Follow-up assessments are conducted at 3, 6, 12, and 15 months after enrollment in CM. Four peripheral venous blood samples are collected over the 15-month follow-up with specimen banking for planned biomarker sub-studies. The primary outcome is mean HIV viral load. Secondary outcomes include: sustained HIV viral suppression, T-helper cell count, psychological adjustment, stimulant use, and potentially amplified transmission risk behavior.

DISCUSSION:

Implementation of this randomized controlled trial highlights the importance of delineating boundaries between research activities and community-based service provision. It also provides insights into best practices for integrating the distinct agendas of academic and community partners in clinical research. This trial is currently enrolling and data collection is anticipated to be completed in September of 2018.

To read more, click here.

Junrui Di, Ying Li, M Reuel Friedman, Susheel Reddy, Pamela J Surkan, Steven Shoptaw, and Michael Plankey. Determining Survey Satisficing of Online Longitudinal Survey Data in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study: A Group-Based Trajectory Analysis. JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2016 Jul-Dec; 2(2): e150. PMCID: PMC5014543

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Survey satisficing occurs when participants respond to survey questions rapidly without carefully reading or comprehending them. Studies have demonstrated the occurrence of survey satisficing, which can degrade survey quality, particularly in longitudinal studies.

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study is to use a group-based trajectory analysis method to identify satisficers when similar survey questions were asked periodically in a long-standing cohort, and to examine factors associated with satisficing in the surveys having sensitive human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-related behavioral questions.

METHODS:

Behavioral data were collected semiannually online at all four sites of the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) from October 2008 through March 2013. Based on the start and end times, and the word counts per variable, response speed (word counts per second) for each participant visit was calculated. Two-step group-based trajectory analyses of the response speed across 9 study visits were performed to identify potential survey satisficing. Generalized linear models with repeated measures were used to investigate the factors associated with satisficing on HIV-related behavioral surveys.

RESULTS:

Among the total 2138 male participants, the median baseline age was 51 years (interquartile range, 45-58); most of the participants were non-Hispanic white (62.72%, 1341/2138) and college graduates (46.59%, 996/2138), and half were HIV seropositive (50.00%, 1069/2138). A total of 543 men (25.40%, 543/2138) were considered potential satisficers with respect to their increased trajectory tendency of response speed. In the multivariate analysis, being 10 years older at the baseline visit increased the odds of satisficing by 44% (OR 1.44, 95% CI 1.27-1.62, P<.001). Compared with the non-Hispanic white participants, non-Hispanic black participants were 122% more likely to satisfice the HIV-related behavioral survey (OR 2.22, 95% CI 1.69-2.91, P<.001), and 99% more likely to do so for the other race/ethnicity group (OR 1.99, 95% CI 1.39-2.83, P<.001). Participants with a high school degree or less were 67% more likely to satisfice the survey (OR 1.67, 95% CI 1.26-2.21, P<.001) compared with those with a college degree. Having more than one sex partner and using more than one recreational drug reduced the odds of satisficing by 24% (OR 0.76, 95% CI 0.61-0.94, P=.013) and 28% (OR 0.72, 95% CI 0.55-0.93, P=.013), respectively. No statistically significant association of HIV serostatus with satisficing was observed.

CONCLUSIONS:

Using a group-based trajectory analysis method, we could identify consistent satisficing on HIV-related behavioral surveys among participants in the MACS, which was associated with being older, being non-white, and having a lower education level; however, there was no significant difference by HIV serostatus. Methods to minimize satisficing using longitudinal survey data are warranted.

To read more, click here.

Friedman MR, Stall R, Plankey M, Shoptaw S, Herrick AL, Surkan PJ, Teplin L, Silvestre AJ. Stability of Bisexual Behavior and Extent of Viral Bridging Behavior Among Men Who Have Sex with Men and Women. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 2016 Nov 21:1-0. PMCID: PMC5438760

Abstract

Bisexual men experience significant health disparities likely related to biphobia. Biphobia presents via several preconceptions, including that bisexuality is transitory, and that bisexual men act as viral bridges between men who have sex with men and heterosexual populations. We analyzed data from a prospective cohort of gay and bisexual men, the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, to test these preconceptions. Menreporting both male and female sexual partners (MSMW) between 2002 and 2009 (n = 111) were classified as behaviorally bisexual. We assessed five hypotheses over two domains (transience of bisexual behavior and viral bridging). No evidence was found supporting the transitory nature of bisexuality. Trajectories of bisexual behavior were not transient over time. We found little evidence to support substantial viral bridging behavior. Notably, HIV-positive MSMW reported lower proportions of female partners than HIV-negative MSMW. Our results provide no empirical support for bisexual transience and scant support for viral bridging hypotheses. Our results provide key data showing that male bisexual behavior may be stable over long time periods and that behaviorally bisexual men’s risk to female sexual partners may be lower than expected.

To read more, click here.

Chen ,I., Huang, W., Connor, M.B., Frantzell, A., Cummings, V., Beauchamp, G.G., Griffith, S., Fields, S.D., Scott, H.M., Shoptaw, S., del Rio C. CXCR4-using HIV variants in a cohort of Black men who have sex with men: HIV Prevention Trials Network 061. HIV clinical trials. 2016 Jul 3;17(4):158-64. PMCID: PMC5003405

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:
To evaluate factors associated with HIV tropism among Black men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States enrolled in a clinical study (HIV Prevention Trials Network 061).

METHODS:
HIV tropism was analyzed using a phenotypic assay (Trofile assay, Monogram Biosciences). Samples were analyzed from 43 men who were HIV infected at enrollment and reported either exclusive insertive intercourse or exclusive receptive intercourse; samples were also analyzed from 20 men who were HIV uninfected at enrollment and seroconverted during the study. Clonal analysis of individual viral variants was performed for seroconverters who had dual/mixed (DM) viruses.

RESULTS:
DM viruses were detected in samples from 11 (26%) of the 43 HIV-infected men analyzed at the enrollment visit; HIV tropism did not differ between those reporting exclusive insertive vs receptive intercourse. DM viruses were also detected in five (25%) of the 20 seroconverters. DM viruses were associated with lower CD4 cell counts. Seroconverters with DM viruses had dual-tropic viruses only or mixed populations of CCR5- and dual-tropic viruses.

CONCLUSIONS:
DM viruses were frequently detected among Black MSM in this study, including seroconverters. Further studies are needed to understand factors driving transmission and selection of CXCR4- and dual-tropic viruses among Black MSM.

To read more, click here.

Friedman, M. R., Coulter, R. W., Silvestre, A. J., Stall, R., Teplin, L., Shoptaw, S., Surkan, P. & Plankey, M. W. Someone to count on: social support as an effect modifier of viral load suppression in a prospective cohort study. AIDS Care. 2016 July 25. 1-12. PMCID: PMC5571899

Abstract

Though functional social support has been shown to serve as a protective factor for HIV viral load suppression in other populations, scant research has examined this relationship among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States. We assessed characteristics of social support, effects of social support on HIV viral load, and moderation by social support of the relationship between psychosocial indicators of a synergistic epidemic (syndemic) and HIV viral load. We analyzed longitudinal data from HIV-positive MSM using antiretroviral therapy who were enrolled in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study between 2002 and 2009 (n = 712). First, we conducted reliability assessments of a one-item social support measure. Then, we conducted a series of generalized longitudinal mixed models to assess our research questions. Moderation was assessed using an interaction term. A three-level (low/medium/high) social support variable demonstrated high reliability (intraclass correlation coefficients  = 0.72; 95% CI: 0.70, 0.75). Black and Hispanic MSM reported lower socialsupport than their White counterparts (p < .0001). Recent sero-conversion was associated with higher social support (p < .05). Higher numbers of concomitant syndemic indicators (depression, polysubstance use, and condomless anal sex) were associated with lower socialsupport (p < .0001). Medium and high social support levels were associated with greater viral load suppression and lower viral load means (p < .0001). Social support moderated the relationships between syndemic and HIV viral load (p < .05). HIV-positive MSM, particularly those of color, may benefit greatly from interventions that can successfully boost functional social support. Creating strengths-based interventions may also have particularly high impact among HIV-positive MSM with the highest psychosocial burdens.

To read more, click here.

About

CBAM is a multidisciplinary center that seeks to advance the prevention and treatment of chronic illnesses, especially in communities with health disparities. As part of the UCLA Department of Family Medicine, CBAM works at the intersection of academia and community with a focus on treating addictions and preventing the spread of HIV.

© The UCLA Center for Behavioral & Addiction Medicine (CBAM). All Rights Reserved.