A systematic review of the impact of alcohol use disorders on HIV treatment outcomes, adherence to antiretroviral therapy and health care utilization.

Azar MM, Springer SA, Meyer JP, Altice FL.

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2010 Dec 1;112(3):178-93. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2010.06.014. Epub 2010 Aug 11.

BACKGROUND: Alcohol use disorders (AUDs) are highly prevalent and associated with non-adherence to antiretroviral therapy, decreased health care utilization and poor HIV treatment outcomes among HIV-infected individuals. OBJECTIVES: To systematically review studies assessing the impact of AUDs on: (1) medication adherence, (2) health care utilization and (3) biological treatment outcomes among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). DATA SOURCES: Six electronic databases and Google Scholar were queried for articles published in English, French and Spanish from 1988 to 2010. Selected references from primary articles were also examined. REVIEW METHODS: Selection criteria included: (1) AUD and adherence (N=20); (2) AUD and health services utilization (N=11); or (3) AUD with CD4 count or HIV-1 RNA treatment outcomes (N=10). Reviews, animal studies, non-peer reviewed documents and ongoing studies with unpublished data were excluded. Studies that did not differentiate HIV+ from HIV- status and those that did not distinguish between drug and alcohol use were also excluded. Data were extracted, appraised and summarized. DATA SYNTHESIS AND CONCLUSIONS: Our findings consistently support an association between AUDs and decreased adherence to antiretroviral therapy and poor HIV treatment outcomes among HIV-infected individuals. Their effect on health care utilization, however, was variable.

PMID: 20705402

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.