Prevalence of recreational drug use is high among HIV-infected patients admitted to hospitals in London
The investigators from the Chelsea and Westminster hospitals in London reported in HIV Medicine that among HIV positive patients admitted for in-patient care around 40% reported recent recreational drug use. More than half of them used drugs for sexual enhancement, or chemsex.
The study took place between late 2014 and early 2015 and aimed to establish the prevalence of self-reported recreational drug use and also prevalence of drug use as determined by urine toxicology screening. Urine samples were tested for cannabis, morphine, methadone, amphetamines and cocaine.
The researchers revealed that recreational drug users were less likely to be on antiretroviral therapy than non-users (70% vs 87%) and had poorer adherence when on therapy (67% vs 76%).
“This is the first published report describing recreational drug use among HIV-infected in-patients,” write the authors. “These data are important, as the UK has seen growing and changing trends in substance misuse and its consequences among people living with HIV in the last 10 years,” investigators stated.