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Food Insecurity, Substance Use Among Women with HIV

Addiction; ePub 2018 Aug 14; Whittle, Sheira, et al

Food insecurity (FS) appears to be longitudinally associated with substance use among US women with or at risk for HIV, according to a recent investigation. Researchers conducted the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), a prospective cohort study of 2,553 women with or at risk for HIV at 9 sites across the US. Semi‐annual structured interviews were conducted during April 2013‐March 2016. FS was the primary predictor, measured using the Household Food Security Survey Module. They found:

  • At baseline, 71% of participants were HIV‐seropositive, 44% reported marginal, low, or very low FS, and 13% were using illicit substances.
  • In adjusted analyses, current low and very low FS were significantly associated with 1.6 and 2.5 higher odds of any illicit substance use, compared to high FS, and also with higher odds of cannabis, stimulant, and opioid use, exhibiting a consistent dose‐response relationship.
  • Marginal, low, and very low FS at the previous visit were associated with 1.7, 1.8, and 2.3 higher odds of current illicit substance use.

Whittle HJ, Sheira LA, Frongillo EA, et al. Longitudinal associations between food insecurity and substance use in a cohort of women with or at risk for HIV in the United States. [Published online ahead of print August 14, 2018]. Addiction. doi:10.1111/add.14418.