Alcohol Consumption Among Persons Living with HIV: Perceptions, Messages and Interventions—A Qualitative Study at an HIV Treatment Clinic in South Western Uganda

Stephen B. Asiimwe, Allen Kekibiina, Sarah E. Woolf-King, Robin Fatch, Nneka Emenyonu, Judith A. Hahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In Sub-Saharan Africa, efficacy trials of brief interventions to reduce unhealthy drinking among persons living with HIV (PLWH) have yielded mixed results. A better understanding of the perceptions of drinking, especially by PLWH, and how drinking is talked about at HIV treatment clinics in this setting, may guide more optimal designs for future trials. We conducted a qualitative study at an HIV treatment clinic in South Western Uganda to better understand perceptions of drinking, how drinking is talked about, and perceptions of interventions, especially a protocolled screening and brief intervention (SBI) for unhealthy drinking among PLWH. We conducted in-depth interviews with 17 PLWH who engaged in unhealthy drinking and 6 health workers, and one focus group discussion with 3 community advisory-board members. We performed manual preliminary data analysis and computer-assisted detailed thematic analysis to identify emergent themes. Four themes emerged: perceptions of alcohol use in the general population; perceptions of alcohol use in PLWH; interaction between PLWH and health workers about alcohol use; perceptions of interventions for unhealthy drinking including SBI. Unhealthy drinking was seen as a problem in the general population and among those with HIV, where it was negatively perceived. Communication about drinking was done by counselors, but doctors participated in screening for unhealthy alcohol use. Messages about drinking covered reduction and abstinence. Participants expressed positive attitudes towards SBI and preference for person-delivered SBI over technological alternatives. A protocolled SBI for unhealthy alcohol use among PLWH would be well-received but successful implementation may depend on mode of delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAIDS and Behavior
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • AIDS
  • HIV
  • People living with HIV
  • Qualitative methods
  • Screening and brief interventions
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Uganda
  • Unhealthy alcohol use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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