EFFECTS OF INTERSECTING STIGMAS ON HIV AND ALCOHOL-RELATED HEALTH BEHAVIORS
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South Africa (SA) has a high burden of HIV and problematic alcohol use. However, associations between HIV stigma and alcohol-outcomes, and alcohol stigma and HIV-outcomes are largely unknown. Further, limited research has examined the role of avoidance in these associations. Therefore, as part of a larger clinical trial, we explored these associations among people living with HIV (PLWH) and problem drinking in SA (N=64). Patients had blood drawn for biomarker-verified measures of outcome variables, and completed self-report measures for all variables. A significant interaction was found between internalized HIV stigma and avoidance in predicting self-report problematic alcohol use (b(SE)=.24(.09), p=.01) such that at low levels of avoidance, higher HIV stigma was associated with less problematic alcohol use (b(SE)=-1.92(.85), p=.03). A matching nonsignificant pattern was observed for biomarker-verified alcohol consumption, suggesting that the relationship between internalized HIV stigma and problematic alcohol use may be moderated by avoidance.