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McGinnis KA, Skanderson M, Edelman EJ, Gordon AJ, Korthuis PT, Oldfield B, Williams EC, Wyse J, Bryant K, Fiellin DA, Justice AC, Kraemer KL. Impact of behavioral and medication treatment for alcohol use disorder on changes in HIV-related outcomes among patients with HIV: A longitudinal analysis. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. 2020 Dec 1; 217:108272.
BACKGROUND: For people with HIV (PWH) and alcohol use disorder (AUD) who initiated behavioral treatment (BAUD) we: 1) describe BAUD intensity and medication (MAUD); and 2) examine whether BAUD and MAUD were associated with changes in HIV-related outcomes (CD4 cell count, HIV-1 viral load [VL], VACS Index score 2.0, and antiretroviral [ARV] adherence) from before to one year after treatment initiation. METHODS: We used Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) data to describe BAUD intensity and MAUD (acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone, gabapentin or topiramate). Linear regression models estimated changes in outcomes and included BAUD, MAUD, age and race/ethnicity. RESULTS: We identified 7830 PWH who initiated BAUD from 01/2008-09/2017. Median age was 53, 60% were African-American and 28% white. BAUD intensity groups were: 1) Single Visit - 35%; 2) Minimal - 44% recieved ~2 visits during first month; 3) Sustained Moderate - 17% recieved ~8 visits/month initially; and 4) Intensive - 4% started out receiving ~14-16 visits/month. Only 9% recieved MAUD, the majority of which was gabapentin. Among those with detectable VL: all HIV-related outcomes improved more among those with more intensive BAUD. Among those with undetectable VL: adherence improved more among those with greater BAUD intensity. MAUD was associated with increased CD4 among those with detectable VL and with improved adherence among both groups. CONCLUSION: Of those with > 1 BAUD visit, only 21% received at least moderate BAUD and 9% received at least 6 months of MAUD. Increasing AUD treatment intensity may improve HIV-related outcomes, especially among those with detectable VL.