Background: People living with HIV (PLHIV) are more likely to suffer from pain compared to the general public. Pain often clusters with mental health symptoms and substance use. This study sought to evaluate mental health and substance use factors associated with any pain and severe pain intensities among PLHIV. Methods: Data were derived from HIV+ adults (N = 733) recruited from community health centers across Florida who completed questionnaires regarding demographics, chronic pain, HIV clinical outcomes, mental health symptoms, and substance use information. Pain was assessed using the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) short form. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was utilized to assess the relationship between selected covariates and pain. Results: Approximately half (45.0%) of participants reported having any current pain while 16.1% reported severe pain. The odds of having any current pain were 2.49 (CI 95% 1.48, 4.18, p < 0.01) times greater among PLHIV reporting anxiety and 1.69 (CI 95% 1.11, 2.57, p = 0.01) times greater among PLHIV reporting PTSD compared to those without those factors. The odds of having severe pain were 2.03 (CI 95% 1.03, 4.01, p = 0.04) times greater among PLHIV reporting anxiety and 2.02 (CI 95% 1.26, 3.24, p < 0.01) times greater among female participants compared to PLHIV without those factors respectively. Factors including depression, alcohol consumption, and marijuana use were not statistically associated with any current pain nor with severe pain. Conclusion: The relationship between pain and mental health is complex. Thus, future research is needed to determine if pain treatments may reduce mental health symptoms or if treatments can be targeted to address both issues simultaneously.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health