Caregivers’ Support Network Characteristics Associated with Viral Suppression among HIV Care Recipients

Julie A. Denison, Mary M. Mitchell, Allysha C. Maragh-Bass, Amy R. Knowlton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Informal care receipt is associated with health outcomes among people living with HIV. Less is known about how caregivers’ own social support may affect their care recipient’s health. We examined associations between network characteristics of informal caregivers and HIV viral suppression among former or current drug using care recipients. We analyzed data from 258 caregiver-recipient dyads from the Beacon study, of whom 89% of caregivers were African American and 59% were female. In adjusted logistic regression analysis, care recipients had lower odds of being virally suppressed if their caregiver was female, was caring for youth involved in the criminal justice system, and had network members who used illicit drugs. Caregivers’ greater numbers of non-kin in their support network was positively associated with viral suppression among care recipients. The findings reveal contextual factors affecting ART outcomes and the need for interventions to support caregivers, especially HIV caregiving women with high-risk youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3599-3606
Number of pages8
JournalAIDS and behavior
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Black/African American
  • Informal HIV caregiving
  • Social support networks
  • Viral load suppression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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