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Substance Use Predicts Sustained Viral Suppression in a Community Cohort of Sexual and Gender Minority Youth Living with HIV

Casey Xavier Hall, Ethan Morgan, Camille Bundy, James E. Foran, Patrick Janulis, Michael E. Newcomb, Brian Mustanski

AIDS and Behavior

Retention in care and sustained viral suppression are integral outcomes in the care continuum for people living with HIV (PLWH) and HIV prevention; however, less is known about how substance use predicts sustained viral suppression over time. This study seeks to examine the predictive effects of substance use on sustained viral suppression in a sample of cisgender sexual minority men and gender minority PLWH (n = 163) drawn from a longitudinal sample in the Chicago area collected 2015–2019. Using data from 3 visits separated by 6months, participants were coded persistently detectable, inconsistently virally suppressed, and consistently virally suppressed (< 40 copies/mL at all visits). Multinomial logistic regressions were utilized. About 40% of participants had sustained viral suppression. In multinomial logistic regressions, CUDIT-R predicted persistent detectable status and stimulant use was associated with inconsistent viral suppression. Substance use may create challenges in achieving sustained viral suppression, which has important implications for care and prevention.

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