HIV medication adherence and substance use: The smartest women's project

Eliot Lopez, Deborah L. Jones, Mary Ishii, Jonathan N. Tobin, Stephen M. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Antiretroviral (ARV) medication for substance users has been a controversial issue with respect to (whether current substance users can successfully maintain their medication regimens. This study compared ARV adherence across current substance users, former substance users and those with no history or current use and the relative impact of a medication adherence intervention on all three groups. Of the 481 predominantly African American and Latina women from Miami, New York and New Jersey enrolled in the SMARTEST Women's Program, 339 participants were prescribed antiretroviral medication at study entry. All three groups, current users (n=60), former users (n=107) and never users (n=171), reported relatively high levels of adherence at baseline Of those participants with less than 80% adherence at baseline, former users showed the most significant decrease in viral load post-intervention and at long term (two year) follow-up. These findings sqggest former users to be the most reliable source of self-reported adherence and to profit most from the study intervention. They also suggest that additional research on targeted interventions for current substance users may be necessary to improve medication adherence for this group of women living with HIV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-247
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Adherence
  • Antiretroviral therapy
  • Psychosocial
  • Substance use
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'HIV medication adherence and substance use: The smartest women's project'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this