BACKGROUND: Alcohol use influences HIV disease severity through multiple mechanisms. Whether HIV disease severity is sensitive to changes in alcohol use among people with HIV (PWH) is understudied. SETTING: National Veterans Health Administration. METHODS: Pairs of AUDIT-C screens within 9-15 months (February 1, 2008-September 30, 2014) were identified among PWH from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS). Initial and follow-up VACS Index 2.0 pairs obtained 0-270 days after initial and follow-up AUDIT-Cs, respectively, determined change in VACS Index 2.0, a composite HIV severity measure. Change in VACS Index 2.0 was regressed on AUDIT-C change scores (-12 to +12) adjusted for demographics, initial VACS Index 2.0, and days between VACS Index measures. RESULTS: Among 23,297 PWH (76,202 observations), most had no (51%) or low-level (38%) alcohol use initially. Most (54%) had no subsequent change; 21% increased and 24% decreased drinking. Initial VACS Index 2.0 scores ranged from 0 to 134, change scores ranged from -65 to +73, with average improvement of 0.76 points (SD 9.48). AUDIT-C change was associated with VACS Index 2.0 change (P < 0.001). Among those with stable alcohol use (AUDIT-C change ≤ │1│ point), VACS Index 2.0 improvements ranged 0.36-0.60 points. For those with maximum AUDIT-C increase (change from 0 to 12), VACS Index 2.0 worsened 3.74 points (95% CI: -4.71 to -2.78); for those with maximum AUDIT-C decrease (change from 12 to 0), VACS Index 2.0 changed minimally [-0.60 (95% CI: -1.43 to 0.23)]. CONCLUSIONS: In this national sample, improvement in HIV severity was generally greatest among those with stable alcohol use (primarily those with no use).
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of acquired immune deficiency syndromes (1999)|
|State||Published - Aug 1 2019|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases
- Pharmacology (medical)