A new study from Yale University and the National Institutes for Health indicates that men with HIV may be cheap dates, at least where alcoholic beverages are concerned.
Researchers studied the effects of alcohol on both HIV-positive and HIV-negative men and found that those with HIV, especially those who were not virally suppressed, were far more sensitive to liquor than guys who did not have the virus.
“All else equal, people who have HIV infection have a lower tolerance for alcohol than similar people without HIV infection,” said Dr. Amy C. Justice, professor of medicine and public health at Yale.
The Yale researchers reviewed data on 2,600 men from the Veterans Aging Cohort Study. They looked at surveys answered by a number of veterans about how much alcohol it took for them to feel buzzed. They compared HIV-positive and HIV-negative men, and among the guys with HIV, those with viral suppression and those without. Those with HIV, especially those with a detect able viral load, reported needing fewer drinks to feel “buzzed” than those who did not have HIV.
The results of the study are particularly worrisome for poz men who just want to let loose on the weekend. Justice added that it is unclear whether HIV-positive men are more susceptible to alcohol or whether they achieve greater blood alcohol concentration.
Regardless, the data show that there’s no clear safe amount of alcohol for HIV-positive people. Alcohol, across all populations, has negative effects on the immune system and liver, leads to riskier behavior, and is the number 1 cause of 2 a.m. text messages to your ex. But those Friday night beers or appletinis may be worse than all that if they cause you to forget to take your HIV meds, which means we should all be cutting down a bit. And hey, at least there will be fewer Snapchat booty calls, amiright?