Bothersome symptoms potentially related to drinking are commonly reported by people with and without HIV (PWH/PWoH). However, the relationship between bothersome symptoms and level of alcohol use is often not appreciated by patients or providers. Therefore, among persons reporting prior-year alcohol use, we assessed whether alcohol use level (AUDIT-C score), HIV status, and demographic covariates influenced the likelihood of the patient reporting a bothersome symptom. We used the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) surveys (2002-2018), including a validated symptoms index. Among 3679 PWH and 3830 PWoH currently drinking alcohol, the most commonly reported symptoms were muscle/joint pain (52%), sleep disturbance (51%), and fatigue (50%). Level of alcohol use was independently associated with 18 of 20 bothersome symptoms, including seven symptoms more common among PWH. Results can help inform PWH/PWoH who drink alcohol about the strong relationship between level of alcohol use and bothersome symptoms, potentially motivating reduced use.