Antiretroviral therapy adherence and the use of condoms among African American HIV-positive crack cocaine users

Bernadette Tretta, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Safer sex practices, such as consistent condom use, are essential to reduce HIV transmission. Determining causes and/or co-variants related to the likelihood of participating in high-risk sexual behaviors may allow the content of interventions and treatments to minimize HIV transmission to be tailored more effectively. The goal of this study was to examine whether a relationship exists between consistent condom use among African American HIV-positive crack cocaine users and both (1) the use of antiretroviral therapy, and (2) adherence to antiretroviral therapy regimens. The study population consisted of 390 participants. They were at least 18 years old, African American, HIV-positive, and had used crack cocaine within a month prior to an interview conducted sometime between April, 2004, and September, 2007. Bivariate associations were examined using contingency tables and χ2-statistics. The Mantel-Haenszel method was used to control for confounding. This study found neither a significant relationship between use of antiretroviral therapy and consistent condom use (Odds ratio (OR) = 1.38; 95% Confidence interval (95%CI) = 0.86–2.22), nor an association between antiretroviral therapy adherence and consistent condom use (OR = 1.02, 95%CI = 0.60–1.75). The exception was more consistent condom use when sex was traded for money or drugs in those on antiretroviral therapy, compared to those not on such therapy (OR = 2.28, 95%CI = 1.08–4.85). Further studies examining condom use and HIV treatment adherence are recommended.

Subject Area

Black studies|Public health|Epidemiology|African American Studies

Recommended Citation

Tretta, Bernadette, "Antiretroviral therapy adherence and the use of condoms among African American HIV-positive crack cocaine users" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1458070.