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People with HIV in HAART-era Russia: transmission risk behavior prevalence, antiretroviral medication-taking, and psychosocial distress. AIDS Behav 2011 May;15(4):767-77



Pubmed ID


Pubmed Central ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-79959974763   36 Citations


Russia has seen one of the world's fastest-growing HIV epidemics. Transmission risk behavior, HAART-taking, and psychosocial distress of the growing population of Russian people living with HIV (PLH) in the HAART era are understudied. Participants of a systematically-recruited cross-sectional sample of 492 PLH in St. Petersburg completed measures of sexual and drug injection practices, adherence, perceived discrimination, and psychosocial distress. Since learning of their status, 58% of participants had partners of HIV-negative or unknown serostatus (mean = 5.8). About 52% reported unprotected intercourse with such partners, with 30% of acts unprotected. Greater perceived discrimination predicted lower condom use. A 47% of IDU PLH still shared needles, predicted by having no primary partner, lower education, and more frequently-encountered discrimination. Twenty-five percentage of PLH had been refused general health care, 11% refused employment, 7% fired, and 6% forced from family homes. Thirty-nine percentage of participants had probable clinical depression, 37% had anxiety levels comparable to psychiatric inpatients, and social support was low. Of the 54% of PLH who were offered HAART, 16% refused HAART regimens, and 5% of those on the therapy took less than 90% of their doses. Comprehensive community services for Russian PLH are needed to reduce AIDS-related psychosocial distress and continued HIV transmission risk behaviors. Social programs should reduce stigma and discrimination, and promote social integration of affected persons and their families.

Author List

Amirkhanian YA, Kelly JA, Kuznetsova AV, DiFranceisco WJ, Musatov VB, Pirogov DG


Yuri A. Amirkhanian PhD Professor in the Psychiatry department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Wayne J. DiFranceisco Research Scientist II in the Psychiatry department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Jeffrey A. Kelly PhD Professor in the Psychiatry department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Adaptation, Psychological
Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active
Cross-Sectional Studies
HIV Infections
Medication Adherence
Mental Health
Needle Sharing
Risk Factors
Sexual Behavior
Sexual Partners
Social Support
Stress, Psychological
Substance Abuse, Intravenous
Young Adult