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Exploring the Association Between Social Support and Hazardous Alcohol Use Among Persons Living with HIV in South Western Uganda


Hazardous alcohol use and psychological distress are common among persons living with HIV (PLWH). In Uganda, HIV prevalence is 6.2% with average pure alcohol consumption per capita of 9.8 L. Social support may mitigate hazardous alcohol use. In a cohort of 443 PLWH, we measured social support using the Duke-UNC functional social support scale and self-reported alcohol consumption using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-Consumption (AUDIT-C), augmented by phosphatidylethanol (PEth). We examined the association between low social support and hazardous alcohol use using multiple logistic regression models. 30% had low social support and 44% had hazardous alcohol use (AUDIT-C ≥ 3 for women and ≥ 4 for men and/or PEth ≥ 50 ng/mL). We did not detect an association between low social support and hazardous alcohol use. Social support may play no role or a minimal role in preventing PLWH from hazardous alcohol use.

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