Is Alcohol Use Associated With Increased Risk of Developing Adverse Health Outcomes Among Adults Living With Human Immunodeficiency Virus: A Systematic Review

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Abstract

Background:

Alcohol use is associated with many HIV-related behaviors that are associated with increased risk of reinfection, transmission, and poorer health outcomes in people living with HIV (PLHIV). The population of middle-aged and older PLHIV is growing because of increased life longevity and aging trend.

Methods:

A systematic review across three databases was conducted to evaluate existing studies that examined the association between alcohol use and medication adherence, high-risk sex behaviors, HIV progression, depression, resource utilization, and survival among studies of PLHIV with an average age of 40 years and above.

Results:

Among the 47 included studies, most found a positive association between alcohol use and depression, risky sex behaviors, medication nonadherence, and healthcare resource utilization among PLHIV. The association between alcohol use and response to treatment was variable. The association between alcohol use and survival warrants further study because of lack of existing studies.

Conclusions:

The results of this review support that alcohol use negatively impacts middle-aged and older PLHIV in many aspects; however, there is lack of studies exclusively targeting older PLHIV, and more relevant studies in the future are needed.

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