International Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 6, Issue 4, pp 293–311 | Cite as

Substance use and its relationship to depression, anxiety, and isolation among youth living with HIV

  • Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus
  • Debra A. Murphy
  • Dallas Swendeman
  • Brian Chao
  • Brenda Chabon
  • Susan Zhou
  • Jeffrey Birnbaum
  • Peggy O’Hara
Empirical Contributions


Reductions from lifetime to recent levels of substance use, the time since HIV diagnosis, physical health symptoms, CD4 counts, emotional distress, and social supports were examined among 227 (20% female; 22% African American, 27% Anglo, 35% Latino) youth living with HIV pH) ages 13 to 24 years. Substance use pervaded the lives of these youth. Male YLH had used more drugs., more often, and for longer periods than women. However, there had been major reductions in use. Being male, having high emotional distress, and having fewer negative social supports were significantly associated with greater reductions in substance use. There was a trend for the length of time that an individual was seropositive being associated with reductions in substance use. The counterintuitive findings suggest that there must be a re-examination of the role of the social support networks of youth living with HIV, as well as the ways in which emotional distress interacts with risk behaviors.

Key words

adolescents HIV substance use 


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Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus
    • 1
  • Debra A. Murphy
    • 1
  • Dallas Swendeman
    • 1
  • Brian Chao
    • 2
  • Brenda Chabon
    • 3
  • Susan Zhou
    • 4
  • Jeffrey Birnbaum
    • 5
  • Peggy O’Hara
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.RANDUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryMontefiore Medical centerUSA
  4. 4.Center for Devices and Radiological HealthU.S. Food and Drug AdmmistrationUSA
  5. 5.Kings County Hospital CenterUSA
  6. 6.Middle Tennessee State UniversityUSA

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