The 2019 National Hispanic Science Network Conference gave the opportunity to our LSUHSC SoPH Students and Faculty to present their Posters this past October 9 – 11, 2019. Dr. Tekeda Ferguson, faculty member and Comprehensive Alcohol HIV/AIDS Research Center Investigator, and epidemiology doctoral student, Erika Rosen, MPH presented work from multiple alcohol projects.
HIV infection continues to disproportionately impact vulnerable populations including racial/ethnic minorities who are at greatest risk of comorbidities. People living with HIV (PLWH) have a 2-3 fold higher prevalence of alcohol use disorders (AUD), and approximately 8-12% are classified as heavy drinkers. Alcohol misuse can impact HIV disease through decreased adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and increased risk for comorbid conditions.
People living with HIV (PLWH) have a 2-3-fold higher prevalence of alcohol use disorders (AUD), and approximately 8-12% of PLWH are classified as heavy drinkers. This alcohol misuse can impact HIV disease through decreased adherence to antiretroviral therapy and increased risk for comorbid conditions. The WELL program is an evidence-based behavioral intervention consisting of five-sessions designed to reduce alcohol use and risky sexual behavior, improve knowledge of biomedical consequences of alcohol and overall health in PLWH. Our findings suggest that the program is effective after 3 months in improving healthy behavior and adaptive coping strategies that can lead to reduced alcohol use. WELL participants with an HIV diagnosis of <15 years had a significant change in self-efficacy at 3-mos (p-value=0.011). Alcohol use had a statistically significant decrease among WELL participants compared to an increase in average drinks in the treatment as usual group ( -24.23 versus 1.98 Drinks in the last 30 days, respectively) (p-value=0.002).
Liver disease is the 2nd most common non HIV-related cause of death due in PLWH. PLWH and HCV-infected individuals have higher rates of hazardous drinking and alcohol use disorders (AUDs). The impact of past and current alcohol use on liver injury in PLWH has not been well examined. Hepatic injury was prevalent in the New Orleans Alcohol use in HIV cohort, despite being a relatively virally controlled patient population under care. LDH was only significantly associated with advanced FIB-4 markers among HIV/HCV coinfected individuals. HCV+ PLWH had higher rates of liver disease than HIV/HCV-. HCV infection did not significantly consistently change the magnitude of association between any of the drinking measures and liver disease markers. Clinicians should consider multiple drinking measures in PLWH when classifying disease risk and recommending treatment options.