Alcohol and risky sexual behavior among heavy drinking college students

AIDS Behav. 2010 Aug;14(4):845-53. doi: 10.1007/s10461-008-9426-9. Epub 2008 Jul 22.


Multiple event-level methodology was used to examine the relation between risky sexual behavior and alcohol use among sexually active, heavy drinking college students (N = 221). Using a structured timeline follow-back interview, participants reported their sexual, alcohol, and drug use behaviors over a 3-month period. Over 2,700 vaginal or anal sexual events were reported from 177 participants. Overall, condom use was not associated with heavy or non-heavy alcohol consumption among those reporting both sexual events concurrent with heavy drinking and when no alcohol was consumed. Results from multilevel regression analyses revealed a more complex pattern. Among women, but not men, less condom use was associated with steady versus casual sexual partners, but partner type interacted with alcohol consumption such that less condom use occurred when heavy drinking preceded sex with steady partners. At the event-level, alcohol consumption among heavy drinking college students leads to risky sexual behavior but the relation differs by gender and partner type.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Sexual Partners
  • Students / psychology*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Universities
  • Young Adult