AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 18, Issue 7, pp 1302–1314

Problematic Alcohol Use Among Individuals with HIV: Relations with Everyday Memory Functioning and HIV Symptom Severity

  • Adrienne J. Heinz
  • Kethera A. Fogler
  • Michael E. Newcomb
  • Jodie A. Trafton
  • Marcel O. Bonn-Miller
Original Paper


Problematic alcohol use has been shown to negatively impact cognitive functions germane to achieving optimal HIV health outcomes. The present study, a secondary data analysis, examined the impact of problematic alcohol use on aspects of everyday memory functioning in a sample of 172 HIV-infected individuals (22 % female; Mage = 48.37 years, SD = 8.64; 39 % Black/non-Hispanic). Additionally, we tested whether self-reported memory functioning explained the relation between problematic alcohol use and HIV symptom severity. Results indicated that problematic patterns of alcohol use were associated with lower total memory functioning, retrieval (e.g., recall-difficulty) and memory for activity (e.g., what you did yesterday) and greater HIV symptom severity. Memory functioning mediated the relation between problematic alcohol use and HIV symptom severity. However, the direction of this relation was unclear as HIV symptom severity also mediated the relation between problematic alcohol use and memory functioning. Findings highlight the importance of integrated care for HIV and alcohol use disorders and suggest that routine alcohol and cognitive screenings may bolster health outcomes among this vulnerable population.


Alcohol Drinking Cognitive Memory HIV Symptoms 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrienne J. Heinz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kethera A. Fogler
    • 3
  • Michael E. Newcomb
    • 4
  • Jodie A. Trafton
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marcel O. Bonn-Miller
    • 1
    • 5
    • 6
  1. 1.Center for Health Care EvaluationVA Palo Alto Health Care SystemMenlo ParkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesStanford University School of MedicinePalo AltoUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyJames Madison UniversityHarrisonburgUSA
  4. 4.Northwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  5. 5.Center of Excellence in Substance Abuse Treatment and EducationPhiladelphia VAMCPhiladelphiaUSA
  6. 6.National Center for PTSDVA Palo Alto Health Care SystemMenlo ParkUSA

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