Concordance of Ethyl Glucuronide, Blood Alcohol Content, and Self-Reported Alcohol Use in Russian Women with HIV and Hepatitis C Virus Co-Infection

Jennifer L. Brown, Ariadna Capasso, Natalia Revzina, Ekaterina Boeva, Vadim Rassokhin, Jessica M. Sales, Lyudmila V. Gutova, Nadia B. Khalezova, Anthony E. Hitch, T. Dylanne Twitty, Ralph J. DiClemente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Problematic alcohol use is prevalent in Russia and is deleterious for individuals with HIV and Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). Ethyl glucuronide (EtG) and blood alcohol content (BAC) provide objective biomarkers of drinking that can be compared to self-reported alcohol use. This paper describes patterns of alcohol use measured by biomarkers and self-report along with concordance across measures. Participants were Russian women with HIV and HCV co-infection (N = 200; Mean age = 34.9) from two Saint Petersburg comprehensive HIV care centers enrolled in an alcohol reduction intervention clinical trial. Measures were: (a) urine specimen analyzed for EtG; (b) breathalyzer reading of BAC; and (c) self-reported frequency of drinking, typical number of drinks consumed, and number of standard drinks consumed in the past month. At baseline, 64.0% (n = 128) had a positive EtG (> 500 ng/mL) and 76.5% (n = 153) had a positive breathalyzer reading (non-zero reading). There was agreement between EtG and BAC (kappa = 0.66, p <.001; Phi coefficient = 0.69, p <.001); self-reported alcohol measures were positively correlated with positive EtG and BAC (p’s < 0.001). There was concordance between EtG and BAC measures, which have differing alcohol detection windows. Most participants endorsed frequent drinking at high quantities, with very few reporting no alcohol consumption in the past month. Concordance between biomarkers and self-reported alcohol use suggests that underreporting of alcohol use was minimal. Results highlight the need for alcohol screening within HIV care. Implications for alcohol assessment within research and clinical contexts are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4062-4069
Number of pages8
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Alcohol
  • Blood Alcohol Content
  • Ethyl glucuronide
  • HIV and HCV co-infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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