Background: Alcohol abuse comes with risks for increased morbidity and mortality among patients with HIV. This study aims to determine the prevalence of alcohol use and other risk factors in a sample of primary care patients with HIV in South Africa and to assess a brief intervention to reduce the use of alcohol in this group.Methods/Design: A single-blinded randomized controlled trial is designed to determine the efficacy of a brief intervention to reduce hazardous alcohol use in patients with HIV. The study will be carried out on out-patients with HIV in two primary healthcare HIV clinics near Pretoria, South Africa. Alcohol use will be assessed with the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test questionnaire. Other data that will be collected relate to health-related quality of life, depression, sexual behavior, internalized AIDS stigma, HIV-related information and adherence to antiretroviral therapy (self-reported 7-day recall of missed doses, Visual Analog Scale and pill count). The intervention consists of a brief counseling session to reduce alcohol risk; the control group receives a health education leaflet.Discussion: The findings will be important in the public health setting. If the intervention proves to be efficient, it could potentially be incorporated into the HIV care policy of the Ministry of Health.Trial registration: Pan African Clinical trial Registry: PACTR201202000355384.
- South Africa