Over 1 million HIV infections have been diagnosed in Russia, and HIV care uptake and viral suppression are very low. 241 HIV-positive individuals in St. Petersburg were enrolled through social networks, provided blood for viral load testing, and completed measures of medication-taking adherence, readiness, and self-efficacy; psychosocial well-being; and substance use. Outcomes included attending an HIV care appointment in the past 6 months, >90% ART adherence, and undetectable viral load. 26% of participants had no recent care appointment, 18% had suboptimal adherence, and 56% had detectable viral load. Alcohol use consistently predicted all adverse health outcomes. Having no recent care visit was additionally associated with being single and greater past-month drug injection frequency. Poor adherence was additionally predicted by lower medication-taking self-efficacy and lower anxiety. Detectable viral load was additionally related to younger age. Comprehensive interventions to improve HIV care in Russia must address substance abuse, anxiety, and medication-taking self-efficacy.
Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases