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Williams EC, McGinnis KA, Edelman EJ, Matson TE, Gordon AJ, Marshall BDL, Bryant KJ, Rubinsky AD, Lapham GT, Satre DD, Richards JE, Catz SL, Fiellin DA, Justice AC, Bradley KA. Level of Alcohol Use Associated with HIV Care Continuum Targets in a National U.S. Sample of Persons Living with HIV Receiving Healthcare. AIDS and behavior. 2019 Jan 1; 23(1):140-151.
We evaluated associations between levels of alcohol use and HIV care continuum components using national Veterans Aging Cohort Study data for all patients with HIV and AUDIT-C screening (2/1/2008-9/30/2014). Poisson regression models evaluated associations between alcohol use levels (non-drinking, low-, medium-, high-, and very high-level drinking) and: (1) engagement with care (documented CD4 cells/µl or viral load copies/ml labs), (2) ART treatment ( = 1 prescription), and (3) viral suppression (HIV RNA? < 500 copies/ml) within one year. Among 33,224 patients, alcohol use level was inversely associated with all care continuum outcomes (all p? < 0.001). Adjusted prevalence of care engagement ranged from 77.8% (95% CI 77.1-78.4%) for non-drinking to 69.1% (66.6-71.6%) for high-level drinking. The corresponding range for ART treatment was 74.0% (73.3-74.7%) to 60.1% (57.3-62.9%) and for viral suppression was 57.3% (56.5-58.1%) to 38.3% (35.6-41.1%). Greater alcohol use is associated with suboptimal HIV treatment across the HIV care continuum.