Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Increases Blood Ethanol Concentration Duration After Both Acute and Chronic Administration

AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2018 Feb;34(2):178-184. doi: 10.1089/AID.2017.0195. Epub 2017 Nov 21.


Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a frequent comorbidity among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Alcohol consumption is a significant predictor of nonadherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART), as well as worsening immunological and virological indicators among PLWHA. Clinical studies indicate that higher viral loads increase sensitivity to alcohol in PLWHA. The factors that influence alcohol kinetics after HIV infection and initiation of ART are not well understood, limiting the information upon which interventions can be designed to ameliorate the impact of alcohol misuse on this vulnerable patient population. To better understand the relationship between viral load and alcohol kinetics, we measured changes in doses of intragastric ethanol administration to achieve target blood ethanol concentration (BEC) in a rhesus macaque model of chronic binge alcohol (CBA) administration and acute changes following a single acute binge dose of alcohol (ABA) pre- and post-simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection, and following ART initiation. Our results from CBA (14 months)-administered SIV-infected male macaques showed that, following ART initiation, macaques required higher doses of alcohol to achieve a target peak BEC compared with non-ART-treated SIV-infected macaques. In animals given ABA, we found prolonged duration of elevated BEC and decreased elimination rate of alcohol that was not corrected following 7 weeks of ART. These findings suggest that binge drinking associated with AUD could negatively interact with HIV infection and enhance disease progression. These findings further support the need for implementation of behavioral or therapeutic interventions to decrease alcohol consumption to improve the quality of life in PLWHA.

Keywords: SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus); acute binge alcohol; blood ethanol concentration; chronic binge alcohol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Alcoholism / blood
  • Alcoholism / complications*
  • Alcoholism / immunology
  • Alcoholism / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Binge Drinking
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Disease Progression
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Simian Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / blood
  • Simian Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Simian Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / immunology*
  • Simian Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Simian Immunodeficiency Virus / drug effects
  • Simian Immunodeficiency Virus / immunology*
  • Viral Load / drug effects
  • Viral Load / immunology*


  • Anti-Retroviral Agents