Author(s): Baliunas D, Rehm J, Irving H, Shuper P
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To analyze the relationship between alcohol consumption and incident HIV infection. METHODS: Articles were identified via electronic and hand searches. Inclusion criteria were: incident HIV infection, preceding alcohol consumption, and association relating the two. The DerSimonian and Laird random effects model was used. For studies with more than one estimate of a given type, estimates were combined using the inverse variance weighted method. Publication bias was assessed using Begg's and Egger's tests. Heterogeneity was assessed using Q and I (2) statistics. RESULTS: Ten studies were included. Overall alcohol consumption (any of the three types identified) increased the risk of HIV (RR 1.98, 95\% CI 1.59-2.47). Alcohol consumers were at 77\% higher risk (RR 1.77, 95\% CI 1.43-2.19). Those consuming alcohol prior to, or at the time of, sexual relations were at an 87\% increased risk (RR 1.87, 95\% CI 1.39-2.50). For binge drinkers, the risk was double that of non-binge drinkers (RR 2.20, 95\% CI 1.29-3.74). CONCLUSIONS: Alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of incident HIV infection. Additional research is required to further investigate a possible causal role.
This article was published in Int J Public Health
and referenced in Journal of Psychiatry