Drinking trajectories among HIV-infected men who have sex with men: A cohort study of United States veterans

Brandon D.L. Marshall, Don Operario, Kendall J. Bryant, Robert L. Cook, E. Jennifer Edelman, Julie R. Gaither, Adam J. Gordon, Christopher W. Kahler, Stephen A. Maisto, Kathleen A. McGinnis, Jacob J. van den Berg, Nickolas D. Zaller, Amy C. Justice, David A. Fiellin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Although high rates of alcohol consumption and related problems have been observed among HIV-infected men who have sex with men (MSM), little is known about the long-term patterns of and factors associated with hazardous alcohol use in this population. We sought to identify alcohol use trajectories and correlates of hazardous alcohol use among HIV-infected MSM. Methods: Sexually active, HIV-infected MSM participating in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study were eligible for inclusion. Participants were recruited from VA infectious disease clinics in Atlanta, Baltimore, New York, Houston, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, and Washington, DC. Data from annual self-reported assessments and group-based trajectory models were used to identify distinct alcohol use trajectories over an eight-year study period (2002-2010). We then used generalized estimate equations (GEE) to examine longitudinal correlates of hazardous alcohol use (defined as an AUDIT-C score ≥4). Results: Among 1065 participants, the mean age was 45.5 (SD = 9.2) and 606 (58.2%) were African American. Baseline hazardous alcohol use was reported by 309 (29.3%). Group-based trajectory modeling revealed a distinct group (12.5% of the sample) with consistently hazardous alcohol use, characterized by a mean AUDIT-C score of >5 at every time point. In a GEE-based multivariable model, hazardous alcohol use was associated with earning <$6000 annually, having an alcohol-related diagnosis, using cannabis, and using cocaine. Conclusions: More than 1 in 10 HIV-infected MSM US veterans reported consistent, long-term hazardous alcohol use. Financial insecurity and concurrent substance use were predictors of consistently hazardous alcohol use, and may be modifiable targets for intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-76
Number of pages8
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


  • Alcohol
  • HIV infection
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Trajectories
  • Trends
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Drinking trajectories among HIV-infected men who have sex with men: A cohort study of United States veterans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this