Alcohol use among HIV-infected persons in care: results of a multi-site survey


  • *The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors. No official endorsement by DHHS, the National Institutes of Health or the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is intended or should be inferred.

Geetanjali Chander, 1830 East Monument Street, 8060 Baltimore, MD 21287, USA. Tel: +1 443 287 2030; fax: +1 410 955 4634; e-mail:



We sought to determine the prevalence of any alcohol use and hazardous alcohol consumption among HIV-infected individuals engaged in care and to identify factors associated with hazardous alcohol use.


During 2003, 951 patients were interviewed at 14 HIV primary care sites in the USA. Hazardous drinking was defined as >14 drinks/week or ≥5 drinks/occasion for men and >7 drinks/week or ≥4 drinks/occasion for women. Moderate alcohol use was consumption at less than hazardous levels. We used logistic regression to identify factors associated with any alcohol use and hazardous alcohol use.


Forty per cent of the sample reported any alcohol use in the 4 weeks prior to the interview; 11% reported hazardous use. In multivariate regression, male sex [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 1.52 (95% confidence interval, CI, 1.07–2.16)], a college education (compared to<high school) [AOR 1.87 (1.10–3.18)] and illicit drug use [AOR 2.69 (1.82–3.95)] were associated positively with any alcohol use, while CD4 nadir ≥500 cells/μL [AOR 2.65 (1.23–5.69)] and illicit drug use [AOR 2.67 (1.48–4.82)] were associated with increased odds of hazardous alcohol use (compared to moderate and none).


Alcohol use is prevalent among HIV-infected individuals and is associated with a variety of socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. Screening for alcohol use should be routine practice in HIV primary care settings.