n African Journal of Psychiatry - A preliminary investigation of the AUDIT and DUDIT in comparison to biomarkers for alcohol and drug use among HIV-infected clinic attendees in Cape Town, South Africa : original

Volume 15, Issue 5
  • ISSN : 1994-8220



There is growing concern about the effect of substance use on HIV treatment outcomes. The study objectives included: (i) evaluating whether the use of validated questionnaires (AUDIT and DUDIT) provide useful and consistent information of alcohol and drug consumption when compared with the use of biomarkers of alcohol in (urine and hair) and drugs in (urine) and (ii) assessing the feasibility of using self-report measures compared with urine and hair tests.

Participants were HIV positive patients attending an HIV community health clinic in Kraaifontein, Cape Town. Hair and urine samples were collected and analysed for alcohol, in Fatty Acid Ethyl Esters (FAEE) and in Ethyl Glucuronide and (EtG), and drugs. Biological markers were compared with self-report measures of alcohol and drug consumption in terms of sensitivity, specificity. Forty-three participants completed the self-report measures, while 30 provided hair and urine samples.
On the AUDIT, 18 (41.9%) participants screened positive for harmful and hazardous drinking and 13 (30.2%) participants on the DUDIT screened positive for having a drug-related problem. Two of 30 participants (7%) tested positive for alcohol abuse on FAEE analysis. For EtG, 6 of 24 (25%) participants tested positive for alcohol abuse. On hair drug analysis, all 30 participants tested negative for cannabis, amphetamines, opiates, cocaine, PCP and methaqualone. On the urinalysis, 1 of 30 participants tested positive for cannabis and everyone tested negative for all other drugs included in the screening.
Substance use among patients attending HIV clinics appears to be a problem, especially alcohol. Self-report measures seem to be a more cost effective option for screening of alcohol and drug abuse in resource poor settings.

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