Amphetamine use and its correlates are examined among youths living with HIV (YLH) to determine whether its use is associated with increased transmission acts and poor health. Amphetamine use, other HIV-related risk acts, T-cell counts, emotional distress, coping style, and symptoms of HIV are examined in 337 YLH. One third of YLH engaged in amphetamine use in their lifetime, and 21% of youths reported current use (i.e., in the last 3 months). Compared with those who never used, users initiated other drug use at younger ages, used more types of drugs, reported more emotional distress, and employed escape coping significantly more often. Compared with those who have never used (never-users), users also had more sexual partners and more sexual encounters. Although users and never-users do not differ on physical symptoms or whether they have been diagnosed with AIDS, users of amphetamines report significantly higher T-cell counts than never-users. Despite poor psychosocial functioning, amphetamine users have higher T-cell counts than other YLH; future research must examine longitudinally if a quadratic relationship exists between amphetamine use and health status. The continued high-risk profile of transmission acts among users suggests that preventive interventions must target specific drugs used by YLH.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||AIDS Education and Prevention|
|State||Published - Jun 1999|