Alcohol consumption and risk of incident human immunodeficiency virus infection: a meta-analysis

Abstract

Objective

To analyze the relationship between alcohol consumption and incident HIV infection.

Methods

Articles were identified via electronic and hand searches. Inclusion criteria were: incident HIV infection, preceding alcohol consumption, and association relating the two. The DerSimonian and Laird random effects model was used. For studies with more than one estimate of a given type, estimates were combined using the inverse variance weighted method. Publication bias was assessed using Begg’s and Egger’s tests. Heterogeneity was assessed using Q and I 2 statistics.

Results

Ten studies were included. Overall alcohol consumption (any of the three types identified) increased the risk of HIV (RR 1.98, 95% CI 1.59–2.47). Alcohol consumers were at 77% higher risk (RR 1.77, 95% CI 1.43–2.19). Those consuming alcohol prior to, or at the time of, sexual relations were at an 87% increased risk (RR 1.87, 95% CI 1.39–2.50). For binge drinkers, the risk was double that of non-binge drinkers (RR 2.20, 95% CI 1.29–3.74).

Conclusions

Alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of incident HIV infection. Additional research is required to further investigate a possible causal role.

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Acknowledgments

We thank the attendees of the Alcohol and Infectious Diseases Technical meeting held in Cape Town, South Africa in July 2008 and hosted by the South African Medical Research Council in collaboration with the World Health Organization. The research work was funded by the South African Medical Research Council (MRC) through a grant received from the US President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC.

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Correspondence to Dolly Baliunas.

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Baliunas, D., Rehm, J., Irving, H. et al. Alcohol consumption and risk of incident human immunodeficiency virus infection: a meta-analysis. Int J Public Health 55, 159–166 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-009-0095-x

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Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • HIV
  • Incidence
  • Meta-analysis