Background: Neighborhood factors contribute to substance abuse and increased health risk behavior. Alcohol use has adverse consequences as it may interfere with antiretroviral medication adherence. In addition, studies have shown that those who are HIV positive have decreased social network size, limited social support, and social isolation as well as decreased treatment adherence. It is hypothesized that participants with high neighborhood density of alcohol outlets combined with increased feelings of loneliness will be more likely to drink.
Methods: Participants included 85 patients from an HIV treatment clinic in Jacksonville. Interviewer-administered measures included the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and UCLA Loneliness Scale. Geographical Information Systems was used to map participant residential area and surrounding neighborhood factors. This study collected cross-sectional, retrospective data. Multi-linear regression using UCLA scores and geographic alcohol outlets availability were used as predictors of drinking behavior.
Results: UCLA scores (β = 0.088, p = .012) and number of alcohol outlets (β = 0.040, p = .028) were significant predictors of AUDIT scores. UCLA scores and number of alcohol outlets accounted for 10.4% (R2 = .104) of variance of AUDIT scores.
Conclusion: There was co-occurrence of alcohol use and self-reported loneliness among patients currently in treatment for HIV. There also appears to be a relationship with neighborhood factors, alcohol use, and loneliness but further research is needed.
Kiernan, Erica; Dunne, Eugene; Curbow, Barbara; and Latimer, William, "Neighborhood Factors that Contribute to Alcohol Use and Loneliness in HIV Positive Patients" (2014). Public Health Collection. 2.