Volume 10, Issue 2

April – June 2023

Check out the current issue of URBAN ARCH News, the quarterly newsletter bringing you news on the latest URBAN ARCH and related research.


In this edition of the URBAN ARCH Newsletter, we highlight URBAN ARCH activities and presentations at the upcoming 2023 RSA conference.

Updates from 2nd Generation URBAN ARCH HIV/Alcohol P01s


International URBAN ARCH Center Updates

Click on the buttons below to see what the International URBAN ARCH Center Cores and Projects have been working on.

Spotlight on… Naomi Sanyu

In this issue, we interview TALC field coordinator Naomi Sanyu about her background in the field of HIV and alcohol research, and her current work on the TALC study. 


Article Spotlight

People With HIV and Heavy Drinking Reported Decreased Alcohol Consumption Following Counseling, but Biomarker Showed No Effect

Unhealthy alcohol use is associated with poor health outcomes among people with HIV (PWH), including diminished medication adherence, decreased suppression of HIV, and mortality. URBAN ARCH researchers conducted a 3-arm randomized controlled trial among 269 PWH and unhealthy alcohol use in Mbarara, Uganda. Participants received 1 of 3 interventions designed to reduce alcohol use and increase HIV viral suppression: 1) in-person counseling (“live” arm: two 45–70-minute sessions within 3 months, with interim monthly booster calls); 2) in-person counseling and twice-weekly automated booster sessions (“technology” arm); or 3) brief advice (control). Researchers collected participants’ number of self-reported drinking days (NDD) within the last 21 days, biomarker phosphatidylethanol (PEth) at 6 and 9 months, and viral suppression (<40 copies/mL) at 9 months.

  • At follow-up, participants in the live group reported significant reductions in alcohol consumption (3.5 NDD), compared with the control group.
  • However, the mean PEth differences compared with the control group were insignificant for the live group and the technology group.
  • There were no differences between the intervention groups and controls regarding 9-month HIV viral suppression.

Comments: Participants in this study reported decreased alcohol consumption following receipt of in-person counseling, but PEth did not show evidence of this decrease. Studies of alcohol interventions should include biomarker measurements to limit the potential impact of social desirability bias on study results.

Reference: Hahn JA, Fatch R, Emenyonu NI, et al. Effect of two counseling interventions on self-reported alcohol consumption, alcohol biomarker phosphatidylethanol (PEth), and viral suppression among persons living with HIV (PWH) with unhealthy alcohol use in Uganda: A randomized controlled trial. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2023 Mar 1;244:109783.

New URBAN ARCH Publications

Events and Conferences

Click here for more events and conferences.