The Prevalence of Alcohol Consumption and Heavy Drinking Among People with HIV in the United States

Results from the HIV Cost and Services Utilization Study

Published in: Journal of Studies on Alcohol, v. 63, no. 2, 2002, p. 179-186

Posted on on January 01, 2002

by Frank H. Galvan, Eric G. Bing, John Fleishman, Andrew S. London, Raul Caetano, M. Audrey Burnam, Douglas L. Longshore, Sally C. Morton, Maria Orlando Edelen, Martin F. Shapiro

Read More

Access further information on this document at

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

OBJECTIVE: To establish population-based estimates of the prevalence of any alcohol consumption and heavy drinking among individuals who tested positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and to identify the factors associated with alcohol consumption and heavy drinking in this population. METHOD: Data from the HIV Cost and Services Utilization Study (HCSUS), a national probability survey of HIV-infected adults receiving medical care in the U.S. in early 1996 (N = 2,864: 2,017 men, 847 women), were used to estimate the prevalence of any alcohol consumption and heavy drinking. Logistic regression was used to identify independent influences of sociodemographic, health status, and substance use variables on alcohol consumption and heavy drinking. RESULTS: Approximately 53% of persons in care for HIV reported drinking alcohol in the preceding month and 8% were classified as heavy drinkers. Of those who drank, 15% were heavy drinkers. The odds of heavy drinking were significantly higher among users of cocaine or heroin and significantly lower among the better educated and those with an AIDS-defining illness. CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol consumption is common among people in care for HIV, with rates of heavy drinking almost twice those found in the general population. Heavy drinking is especially higher among individuals with lower educational levels and users of cocaine or heroin.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.