Examining Age as a Moderating Effect on the Relationship Between Alcohol Use and Viral Suppression Among Women Living With HIV

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This study sought to examine if age moderated the effect of alcohol on viral suppression among women living with HIV. A secondary data analysis, using data from the 550 Clinic Women’s HIV Cohort Study was completed. Individuals were included if they were HIV positive, sought care in an urban clinic in Kentucky between 2009 and 2012, and had ≥1 year of follow-up. The primary independent variable was current alcohol use; the moderating variable was age (<50 years versus ≥50 years); and the outcome was suppression. Logistic regression models examined the interaction between age and alcohol. Among 360 women (average age 45.8 ± 10.1 years, 38 percent were ≥50 years), approximately 32.0 percent had consumed alcohol, and 40 percent achieved suppression. Women aged ≥50 years were more likely to achieve suppression than younger women. Age interacted significantly with alcohol (p = .038). Stratified by age, alcohol was associated with poor viral suppression among older women; for older women, alcohol users had lower odds of suppression compared to nonusers (odds ratio = 0.37; 95 percent confidence interval = 0.14–0.99). Alcohol may impede the opportunity for older women to achieve suppression. Further study is needed to examine alcohol use among older women, specifically addressing quantity and frequency and their impact on suppression.



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