Alcohol's role in HIV transmission and disease progression

Alcohol Res Health. 2010;33(3):203-18.


Alcohol use has negative effects on HIV disease progression through several mechanisms, including transmission, viral replication, host immunity, and treatment efficacy. Research with animal models has explored the effect of alcohol intake on several aspects of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) disease progression. Data suggest that the increased SIV levels observed in alcohol-consuming animals may represent an increase in virus production as opposed to a decrease in host defense. Results also suggest that changes in nutritional balance and metabolism, as a possible consequence of a proinflammatory state, together with increased virus production in animals consuming alcohol, accelerate SIV and possibly HIV disease progression. Further studies using the animal model are necessary.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Alcoholism / diagnosis
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology
  • Alcoholism / virology
  • Animals
  • Disease Progression*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • Humans
  • Viral Load / physiology
  • Virus Replication / physiology