Alcohol consumption linked to hiv disease progression
Alcohol and HIV
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found a link between alcohol consumption and HIV disease progression in HIV-infected persons. The study appears online in the August issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
Alcohol use is common among HIV-infected persons, and its impact on HIV disease progression has been examined in in-vitro, animal and human studies. Alcohol may adversely affect immunologic function in HIV-infected persons by various mechanisms, including increased HIV replication in lymphocytes.
Researchers assessed CD4 cell counts, HIV RNA levels [viral load], and alcohol consumption in 595 HIV-infected persons with alcohol problems. The relation of HIV disease progression to alcohol consumption was studied using longitudinal regression models controlling for known prognostic factors, including adherence and depressive symptoms, and stratified by antiretroviral therapy (ART) use. Among subjects who were not on ART, heavy alcohol consumption was associated with a lower CD4 cell count. Among subjects who were on ART, heavy alcohol consumption was not associated with a lower CD4 cell count or higher HIV viral load.