Co-occurring Psychiatric Symptoms and Drug Dependence or Heavy Drinking Among HIV-Positive People

Published in: Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, v. 35, Supplement 1, May 2003, p. 153-160

by Frank H. Galvan, M. Audrey Burnam, Eric G. Bing

Read More

Access further information on this document at Journal of Psychoactive Drugs

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

This study sought to establish population-based estimates of the prevalence of co-occurring psychiatric symptoms and either or both drug dependence symptoms or heavy drinking among individuals who test positive for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and to identify the factors associated with such comorbidity. Data from the HIV Cost and Services Utilization Study (HCSUS), a nationally representative sample of HIV-infected adults receiving medical care in the U.S. in 1996 (N = 2,864), were used to estimate the prevalence of comorbidity. Logistic regression was used to identify the independent influences of sociodemographic and HIV-related variables on comorbidity. The authors estimate that 13% of people with HIV receiving care in the U.S. in 1996 had co-occurring psychiatric symptoms and either or both drug dependence symptoms or heavy drinking. The odds of having a comorbid condition were higher for males, heterosexuals, and people with more HIV-related symptoms. The odds were lower for people living with AIDS, African Americans, people who were gay or sexually abstinent, those living with a spouse, those aged 50 years or older, and those with private insurance. Sixty-nine percent of those with a substance-related condition also had psychiatric symptoms; 27% of those with psychiatric symptoms also had a substance-related condition.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.