Institute for Community Research
Reducing Alcohol Consumption to Improve ART Adherence – PLWA

Reducing Alcohol Consumption to Improve ART Adherence – PLWA

RISHTA: Reducing Alcohol Consumption to Improve ART Adherence in PLWA in India

Rishta image

Alcohol and ART adherence: Assessment, Intervention and Modeling in India

The number of people living with HIV in India exceeds 2 million. India faces a major challenge in providing antiretroviral therapy (ART) services in the next decades to several million people who live with or will acquire HIV/AIDS. At the same time, rising levels of alcohol consumption in HIV vulnerable and infected populations constitutes a formidable barrier to maintaining adherence. It has been well established that a high degree of adherence (> 95%) to Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) for HIV/AIDS is necessary to prevent disease progression and transmission. Male use of alcohol exceeds 30% in urban areas of western and northern states. This five year NIAAA funded project seeks to: provide a baseline understanding of current ART implementation and alcohol and other challenges to ART adherence; identify and test individual, group and community interventions that can reduce alcohol consumption as a central factor in enhancing adherence; and develop predictive models for use in India and elsewhere that provides a basis for allocating intervention resources in the most cost-effective way to maximize adherence, reduce years and quality of life lost to HIV, and minimize HIV transmission.

The study will investigate how alcohol is integrated into existing ART services, adapt programs to include alcohol counseling, and model factors contributing to adherence to estimate the impact of interventions on reduced HIV infections and the quality and quantity of life for PLWHAs.

Project and Field Staff

Project Staff

Principal Investigators:

Stephen Schensul,
Ph.D. Professor, Dept. of Community Medicine,
University of Connecticut Health Center

Jean J. Schensul, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist and Founding Director
Institute for Community Research, Hartford, CT

Niranjhan Saggurti, Ph.D. Research Associate and Project Director
Population Council, Delhi


Ravi Verma, Ph.D.
Director, ICRW

BB Rewari MD
National AIDS Control Organization, Delhi

Scientific Collaborator:

Kendall Bryanti, Ph.D. NIAAA

Key Personnel:

Scott Braithwaite, M.D.
Professor of Population Health and Medicine, NYU

Trini Mathew, M.D.
Assistant professor
University of Connecticut School of Medicine

James Grady
Professor, Quantitative Medicine
University of Connecticut School of Medicine

Joseph Burleson
Professor, Quantitative Medicine University of Connecticut School of Medicine

Priti Prabhughate
International Center for Research on Women, New Delhi

Shrutika Sabarwal
Population Council, Delhi

Avina Sarna MD
Population Council, Delhi

Field Staff

International Center for Research on Women, Mumbai
Rajendra Singh, M.A.
Pararnath Verma
Triloki Nath.

Population Council, Mumbai
Pravin Lawanda, M.S.
Sachin Sakpal
Mahendra Janawalkar
Deepak Nikalji


Please read the project abstract here.



  • Alcohol and ART Adherence, NACO Presentation (2014)
  • Alcohol, HIV and Adherence


Alcohol, HIV and Adherence Instructional videos

Introduction to Alcohol
Measuring alcohol consumption Alcohol consumption in India and Results of Alcohol and HIV study, Mumbai Time-line Followback explanation and procedures for interviewing; demonstration of internet Website


ICRW Collective Advocacy

ICRW Group Intervention

ICRW Individual Intervention