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.
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Veteran Aging Cohort Study
HIV RNA viral load
Alcohol use disorder identification test-consumption
Heavy episodic drinking
International classification of diseases, ninth revision
Body mass index
- Alc Rel Dx:
Alcohol related ICD-9 diagnosis
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The views are not those of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States Government. COMpAAAS/Veterans Aging Cohort Study, a CHAART Cooperative Agreement, is supported by the National Institutes of Health: National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (U24-AA020794, U01-AA020790, U01-AA020795, U01-AA020799; U10 AA013566-completed) and in kind by the US Department of Veterans Affairs.
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McGinnis, K.A., Fiellin, D.A., Tate, J.P. et al. Number of Drinks to “Feel a Buzz” by HIV Status and Viral Load in Men. AIDS Behav 20, 504–511 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-015-1053-7
- Alcohol intoxication
- Alcohol use
- Alcohol-related disorders