Original Articles

Hazardous Alcohol Use among Persons Living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

Published in: Journal of Psychology in Africa
Volume 19, issue 2, 2009 , pages: 247–251
DOI: 10.1080/14330237.2009.10820287
Author(s): Karl PeltzerHuman Sciences Research Council & University of the Free State,, Nancy Phaswana-MafuyaHuman Sciences Research Council & University of the Western Cape,, George PetrosHuman Sciences Research Council, South Africa

Abstract

The study assessed the prevalence of hazardous alcohol use among people living with HIV (PLHIV) and its correlates with socio-economic characteristics, disease variables and ART adherence in South Africa. The sample included 607 PLHIV (males =475, females =132; age range =18–61), sampled by all districts in the Eastern Cape. Participants were recruited through a health facility in the community through key informants or a support group. Results indicate that male PLHIV were more often than female PLHIV “past month” (18.9% vs. 6.1%) and hazardous alcohol drinkers (6.1% vs. 2.7%); using a cut-off score of 8 and more on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). Not having a disability grant for HIV/AIDS and the disability grant terminated were both related to past month alcohol use, while having the “disability grant stopped” was also related with hazardous or harmful drinking. Not having an AIDS diagnosis and not being on ART were both associated with past month alcohol use and hazardous or harmful drinking. CD4 counts and non-adherence to ART were both not significantly related with alcohol use status. Brief health provider initiated alcohol interventions for PLHIV should be promoted, with emphasis on targeting men.

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