Number of drinks to “feel a buzz” by HIV status and viral load in men

Veterans Aging Cohort Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The impact of HIV and its treatment on the effects of alcohol remain unclear. Blood alcohol concentrations have been noted to be higher in HIV infected individuals prior to antiretroviral initiation. Our goal was to compare number of drinks to “feel a buzz or high” among HIV infected and uninfected men, stratified by viral load (VL) suppression. Data includes 1478 HIV infected and 1170 uninfected men in the veterans aging cohort study who endorsed current drinking. Mean (SD) number of drinks to feel a buzz was 3.1 (1.7) overall. In multivariable analyses, HIV infected men reported a lower mean number of drinks to feel a buzz compared to uninfected men (coef = -14 for VL<500; -34 for VL ≥ 500; p ≤.05). Men with HIV, especially those with a detectable VL, reported fewer drinks to feel a buzz. Future research on the relationship between alcohol and HIV should consider the role of VL suppression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)504-511
Number of pages8
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2016


  • Alcohol intoxication
  • Alcohol use
  • Alcohol-related disorders
  • Buzz
  • HIV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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