Heavy Alcohol Use is Associated with Lower CD4 Counts among Russian Women Living with HIV: A Multilevel Analysis

Ariadna Capasso, Jennifer L. Brown, Polina Safonova, Nikolay Belyakov, Vadim Rassokhin, Ralph J. DiClemente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Alcohol use remains prevalent among Russian women with HIV infection. Multilevel mixed effects models were used to estimate the association of heavy drinking and HIV outcomes among women (N = 250 at baseline; N = 207 at follow-up), aged 18–35, engaged in HIV care in Saint Petersburg. Alcohol use was assessed at baseline and 3 months by self-report and by the biomarker phosphatidylethanol (PEth). Overall, 35% of women were heavy drinkers, defined as women reporting ≥ 1 past-30-day heavy drinking episode (≥ 4 standard drinks on one occasion) or with PEth blood levels ≥ 80 ng/mL. Women who engaged in heavy drinking had an average 41 CD4 cells/mm3 (95% CI = − 81, − 2; z = − 2.04; P = 0.042) fewer than those who did not. Heavy drinking was associated with higher HIV symptom burden (IRR = 1.20; 95% CI = 1.05, 1.36; z = 2.73; P = 0.006) and suboptimal antiretroviral adherence (OR = 3.04; 95% CI = 1.27, 7.28; χ2 = 2.50; P = 0.013), but not with viral load. Findings support the integration of alcohol treatment interventions as part of routine HIV care in Russia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAIDS and Behavior
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Alcohol use
  • HIV
  • HIV disease outcomes
  • Phosphatidylethanol
  • Russia
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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