Alcohol use, anal sex, and other risky sexual behaviors among HIV-infected women and men

AIDS Behav. 2013 Jun;17(5):1694-704. doi: 10.1007/s10461-012-0191-4.


Effective sexual risk reduction strategies for HIV-infected individuals require an understanding of alcohol's influence on specific sexual behaviors. We conducted audio-computer-assisted-self-interviews on 910 patients from two HIV primary care programs. The association between alcohol use and risky sexual behaviors was examined using multivariable logistic regression adjusting for age, education, race/ethnicity and drug use. Frequent/binge drinking was associated with engaging in anal sex and having multiple sex partners among women, engaging in insertive anal sex among gay/bisexual men, and was unrelated to risky sexual behaviors among heterosexual men. Infrequent drinkers did not differ in sexual risk behaviors from abstainers among women or men. Finally, there was no interaction effect between race/ethnicity and alcohol use on the association with sexual risk behaviors. The study has yielded important new findings in several key areas with high relevance to HIV care. Results underscore the importance of routinely screening for alcohol use and risky sexual behaviors in HIV primary care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Baltimore / epidemiology
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • New York City / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data
  • Unsafe Sex / psychology*
  • Unsafe Sex / statistics & numerical data