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Int J Public Health. 2010 Jun;55(3):159-66. doi: 10.1007/s00038-009-0095-x. Epub 2009 Dec 1.

Alcohol consumption and risk of incident human immunodeficiency virus infection: a meta-analysis.

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  • 1University of Toronto, 33 Russell St, Rm 2035, Toronto, ON M5S2S1, Canada.



To analyze the relationship between alcohol consumption and incident HIV infection.


Articles were identified via electronic and hand searches. Inclusion criteria were: incident HIV infection, preceding alcohol consumption, and association relating the two. The DerSimonian and Laird random effects model was used. For studies with more than one estimate of a given type, estimates were combined using the inverse variance weighted method. Publication bias was assessed using Begg's and Egger's tests. Heterogeneity was assessed using Q and I (2) statistics.


Ten studies were included. Overall alcohol consumption (any of the three types identified) increased the risk of HIV (RR 1.98, 95% CI 1.59-2.47). Alcohol consumers were at 77% higher risk (RR 1.77, 95% CI 1.43-2.19). Those consuming alcohol prior to, or at the time of, sexual relations were at an 87% increased risk (RR 1.87, 95% CI 1.39-2.50). For binge drinkers, the risk was double that of non-binge drinkers (RR 2.20, 95% CI 1.29-3.74).


Alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of incident HIV infection. Additional research is required to further investigate a possible causal role.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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