Risk Factors for Drinking among HIV-Positive African American Adults: The Depression–Gender Interaction
AbstractBackground: Alcohol misuse disproportionately affects people living with HIV. People who struggle with alcohol are also likely to be concurrently struggling with depression. Although there is evidence linking depression to HIV, depression to alcohol, and alcohol to HIV, there is limited research that simultaneously examines the interlocking associations between all three factors. Objective: To investigate the interaction between depression symptomatology and gender on alcohol misuse, while controlling for motivation to reduce drinking, among HIV-positive African Americans. This population was examined because of their increased for developing alcohol dependence. Methods: Data analysis was conducted on baseline survey data of HIV-positive African American adults ( N == 88) who drink and were enrolled in the Project PLUS (Positive Living through Understanding and Support) intervention to examine the correlates (i.e., gender, motivation, depression) of drinking in the past 30 days. Results: Hierarchical linear regression analysis showed a significant interaction between gender and depression to predict total drinks reported ( R 2 == .56, p < .001). While depression was the sole predictor of drinking for men and suppressed the role of motivation, the reverse was true for women; depression was not a significant predictor after controlling for motivation to reduce drinking. Conclusion: African American men and women living with HIV have different risk factors for recent drinking. Scientific significance: Understanding the link between depression, gender, and motivation to reduce drinking for HIV-positive adults with alcohol problems is crucial for the development of gender and culturally relevant treatments.