AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 504–511 | Cite as

Number of Drinks to “Feel a Buzz” by HIV Status and Viral Load in Men

  • Kathleen A. McGinnis
  • David A. Fiellin
  • Janet P. Tate
  • Robert L. Cook
  • R. Scott Braithwaite
  • Kendall J. Bryant
  • E. Jennifer Edelman
  • Adam J. Gordon
  • Kevin L. Kraemer
  • Stephen A. Maisto
  • Amy C. Justice
  • The Veterans Aging Cohort Study
Original Paper

Abstract

The impact of HIV and its treatment on the effects of alcohol remain unclear. Blood alcohol concentrations have been noted to be higher in HIV infected individuals prior to antiretroviral initiation. Our goal was to compare number of drinks to “feel a buzz or high” among HIV infected and uninfected men, stratified by viral load (VL) suppression. Data includes 1478 HIV infected and 1170 uninfected men in the veterans aging cohort study who endorsed current drinking. Mean (SD) number of drinks to feel a buzz was 3.1 (1.7) overall. In multivariable analyses, HIV infected men reported a lower mean number of drinks to feel a buzz compared to uninfected men (coef = −14 for VL < 500; −34 for VL ≥ 500; p ≤ .05). Men with HIV, especially those with a detectable VL, reported fewer drinks to feel a buzz. Future research on the relationship between alcohol and HIV should consider the role of VL suppression.

Keywords

HIV Alcohol intoxication Alcohol use Alcohol-related disorders Buzz 

List of Abbreviations

VACS

Veteran Aging Cohort Study

ART

Antiretroviral therapy

VL

HIV RNA viral load

AUDIT-C

Alcohol use disorder identification test-consumption

HED

Heavy episodic drinking

ICD-9

International classification of diseases, ninth revision

BMI

Body mass index

SD

Standard deviation

Haz

Hazardous

Alc Rel Dx

Alcohol related ICD-9 diagnosis

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York (outside the USA) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen A. McGinnis
    • 1
    • 2
  • David A. Fiellin
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Janet P. Tate
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Robert L. Cook
    • 5
  • R. Scott Braithwaite
    • 6
  • Kendall J. Bryant
    • 7
  • E. Jennifer Edelman
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Adam J. Gordon
    • 1
    • 8
  • Kevin L. Kraemer
    • 8
  • Stephen A. Maisto
    • 9
  • Amy C. Justice
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • The Veterans Aging Cohort Study
  1. 1.Center for Health Equity Research and PromotionVA Pittsburgh Healthcare SystemPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Veterans Aging Cohort Study Coordinating CenterVA CT Healthcare SystemWest HavenUSA
  3. 3.Division of General Internal MedicineYale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  4. 4.Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDSYale University School of Public HealthNew HavenUSA
  5. 5.Departments of Epidemiology and MedicineUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  6. 6.Department of Population HealthNew York University School of MedicineNew YorkUSA
  7. 7.National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and AlcoholismBethesdaUSA
  8. 8.Division of General Internal MedicineUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA
  9. 9.Department of PsychologySyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA

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