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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Effects of stress and depressive symptoms on CD4, CD8 and NK cells among speedball users in Puerto Rico

Juan Reyes, EdD1, Rafaela Robles, EdD1, Hector Colón, PhD1, Eddie Rios, PhD2, Carmen Amalia Marrero, MPH1, Tomas Matos, MS1, Juan Negrón, MPH1, and José M. Calderón, MS1. (1) Departamento de Medicina, Universidad Central del Caribe, Call Box 60327, Bayamon, PR 00960-3062, 787-288-0200, jcreyes@uccaribe.edu, (2) Departamento de Microbiologia, Universidad Central del Caribe, Call Box 60327, Bayamon, PR 00960-3062

Background: There is growing evidence that stressful events and depressive symptoms are involved in decreases of immune function. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of stress and depressive symptoms on the immune status of speedball injectors in Puerto Rico. Methods: The sample was comprised of 400 injection drug users not in treatment, recruited in street settings. HIV infection was detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and the results were confirmed by Western blot and PCR. Two color flow cytometry was used to analyze lymphocyte subpopulations. The survey instrument collected information on sociodemographics, drug use patterns, and stressful life events. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D). T test for independent samples and ANOVA were used in the analysis. Results: The sample was predominantly male (77.8%) and the mean age was 32.8 years old. The overall prevalence of HIV infection was 17%. Multivariate linear regression analyses showed that speedball users with higher levels of stress were more likely to have lower CD4+ counts (p=0.020), lower numbers of NK cells (p=0.009) and higher CD8 counts (p=0.014) than those who reported lower levels of stress. Participants with higher depressive symptoms were more likely to have lower percentage of NK cells (p=0.018), lower percentage of CD3/CD8 and lower numbers of CD4+ cells (p=0.020) compared with subjects with lower depressive symptoms. Conclusion: Further studies are necessary to determine whether treating stress and depressive symptoms can improve the immune status.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the session, the participant will be able to

    Keywords: Depression, Drug Injectors

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:

    Any relevant financial relationships? No

    [ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

    HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean

    The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA