the 30 day challenge Effects of experimentally-induced reductions in alcohol consumption on brain cognitive, and clinical outcomes and motivation for changing drinking in older persons with HIV infection

SHARC researchers, Robert Cook, M.D., M.P.H. and Ronald Cohen, Ph.D., in partnership with faculty at the Florida International University and the University of Miami have been awarded a U01 5-year renewal grant. The $4 million grant will be used to conduct research on the effects of alcohol reduction on the brain and on the liver. The study will build on past findings to determine the extent to which marked reductions in alcohol consumption over 12 weeks via contingency management (CM) improves cognitive performance, brain functions and pathophysiology, and HIV-associated health outcomes.

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Past findings indicate that current heavy alcohol use is more strongly associated with cognitive/brain dysfunction among HIV+ adults than lifetime consumption, suggesting that these effects may be reversible with reduction in drinking.

  • Alcohol consumption may affect the brain directly or indirectly via liver toxicity and systemic inflammation.
  • HIV-associated neurocognitive dysfunction continues even with antiretroviral treatment, and even mild cognitive impairment is associated with detrimental health outcomes in older HIV+ adults.
  • Ongoing heavy alcohol use on the brain and cognition may be reversible, providing a strong impetus for the study.



The research will be conducted in Florida, which has the highest number of new HIV infections in the U.S., as well as an increasingly diverse population with HIV, 50% of whom are now aged 50 years or over.

SHARC research happens at universities and in communities across the state of Florida.

To learn more about each project and your eligibility potential, take a look at the opportunities available in your area!

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