Journal Article

HIV-Related Wasting in HIV-Infected Drug Users in the Era of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy

Adriana Campa, Yang Zhifang, Shenghan Lai, Lihua Xue, J. Craig Phillips, Sabrina Sales, J. Bryan Page and Marianna K. Baum

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 41, issue 8, pages 1179-1185
Published in print October 2005 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online October 2005 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI:
HIV-Related Wasting in HIV-Infected Drug Users in the Era of Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Immunology
  • Public Health and Epidemiology
  • Microbiology


Show Summary Details


Background. A decrease in the rate of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection–related wasting has been reported in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). We investigated this concern in a hard-to-reach population of HIV-infected drug users in Miami, Florida.

Methods. After informed consent was obtained, 119 HIV-infected drug users were administered questionnaires involving demographic, medical history, and food-security information. Blood samples were drawn for immunological and viral studies. HIV-related wasting over a period of ⩾6 months was defined as a body mass index of <18.5 kg/m2, unintentional weight loss of ⩾10% over 6 months, or a weight of <90% of the ideal body weight.

Results. The prevalence of HIV-related wasting was 17.6%. A significantly higher proportion of those who experienced wasting (81%) reported that there were periods during the previous month when they went for ⩾1 day without eating (i.e., food insecurity), compared with those who did not experience wasting (57%). Although a greater percentage of patients who experienced wasting were receiving HAART, their HIV RNA levels were more than twice as high (mean ± standard deviation [SD], 166,689 ± 238,002 copies/mL; median log HIV RNA level ± SD, 10.2 ± 2.7 log10 copies/mL) as those for the group that did not experience wasting (mean ± SD, 72,156 ± 149,080; median log HIV RNA level ± SD, 9.2 ± 2.3 log10 copies/mL). Participants who experienced wasting were more likely to be heavy alcohol drinkers and users of cocaine. In multivariate analysis that included age, sex, food security, alcohol use, cocaine use, viral load, and receipt of antiretroviral therapy, the only significant predictors of wasting were ⩾1 day without eating during the previous month (odds ratio [OR], 1.96; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.18–3.26; P = .01) and viral load (OR, 1.64; 95% CI, 1.00–2.69; P = .05).

Conclusions. HIV-related wasting continues to be common among HIV-infected drug users, even among HAART recipients. Food insecurity and viral load were the only independent predictors of wasting. The social and economic conditions affecting the lifestyle of HIV-infected drug users constitute a challenge for prevention and treatment of wasting.

Journal Article.  4898 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.