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Alcohol Consumption Linked To HIV Disease Progression, Study Shows

Date:
August 22, 2007
Source:
Boston University
Summary:
Researchers have found a link between alcohol consumption and HIV disease progression in HIV-infected persons. 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 from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found a link between alcohol consumption and HIV disease progression in HIV-infected persons.

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. "

Alcohol use in patients with a prevalent disease such as HIV, can have important public health consequences," said lead author Jeffrey Samet, MD, MPH, a professor of medicine at BUSM and chief of General Internal Medicine at Boston Medical Center. "HIV-infected persons who drink alcohol heavily and are not on ART might decrease their risk of disease progression if they abstain from alcohol use."

Researchers further noted that there is extensive evidence about the efficacy of a brief intervention for unhealthy alcohol use in nondependent drinkers in medical settings and of the efficacy of psychosocial and pharmacologic treatments for alcohol dependence. "Although limited evidence demonstrates the effectiveness of intervention for alcohol problems specifically in people with HIV, its implementation among HIV-infected populations seems to be a worthwhile goal," according to senior author Richard Saitz, MD, MPH, professor of medicine at BUSM, director of the Clinical Addiction Research and Education Unit at Boston Medical Center, and associate director of the Boston University School of Public Health Youth Alcohol Prevention Center.

The study appears online in the August issue of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Boston University. "Alcohol Consumption Linked To HIV Disease Progression, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070820105240.htm>.
Boston University. (2007, August 22). Alcohol Consumption Linked To HIV Disease Progression, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070820105240.htm
Boston University. "Alcohol Consumption Linked To HIV Disease Progression, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070820105240.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

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