Alcohol use among HIV-positive (HIV?+?) individuals is associated with decreased adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) and consequently poorer HIV treatment outcomes. This study examined the independent association of individual and partner-level alcohol use with HIV disease management among men who have sex with men (MSM) in primary partnerships. In total, 356 HIV+ MSM and their male primary partners completed a baseline visit for a longitudinal study examining the role of couple-level factors in HIV treatment. The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) was administered to assess the individual and the partner-level alcohol use. Primary outcome variables included self-reported ART adherence, ART adherence self-efficacy, and HIV viral load. Results demonstrated that abstainers, compared to hazardous drinkers, had higher self-efficacy to integrate and persevere in HIV treatment and a lower odds of having a detectable viral load. Participants with a partner-abstainer, versus a partner-hazardous drinker, had less self-efficacy to persevere in HIV treatment, a lower odds of 100% three-day adherence and a higher viral load. Together, these findings suggest that assessment and treatment of both the patient’s and the patient’s primary partner’s pattern of alcohol consumption is warranted when attempting to optimize HIV care among MSM.
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