A review of the effects of alcohol and its interaction with HIV on the immune system
Objective: Alcohol and HIV seem to augment each other in their negative effect on various aspects of the body. In fact, people with alcohol abuse disorders are more likely than the general population to contract HIV while on the other hand, people with HIV are more likely to abuse alcohol at some time during their lives. Among other effects, alcohol induces immune dysregulation which exacerbates HIV pathogenesis, eventually leading to HIV disease progression and death. This review is a comprehensive analysis of the findings of various studies that have over the years looked at how alcohol induces immune dysregulation in HIV infection. It brings about the need for better addressing the issue of alcohol consumption among those either at risk of infection or those living with the infection, thus helping in the fight against HIV infection.
Data sources: The data used in this review was sourced from peer reviewed papers from various studies conducted by various HIV researchers.
Study Selection: The studies used in this review were selected from the various HIV studies where HIV’s interactions with alcohol especially looking at their effect on the immune system were studied.
Data synthesis: The data used in this review was analyzed looking at the various case studies and the significant findings from each study.
Conclusion: Alcohol consumption has a definite effect on HIV infection: transmission, progression of disease or treatment. Thus, addressing alcohol use in HIV-infected patients may have a substantial impact on HIV disease progression.