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Medical News

Alcohol and HIV Sexual Risk Behaviors Among Injection Drug Users

June 6, 2008

To test the hypothesis that alcohol use and intoxication is associated with sexual behaviors that raise the risk of HIV transmission, the authors analyzed data from 6,341 injection drug users (IDUs) who entered detoxification or methadone maintenance programs in New York City between 1990 and 2004.

In their analysis, the researchers assessed two types of associations: a global association (i.e., the relationship between HIV sexual risk behaviors during the six months preceding the interview and at-risk drinking in that period, defined as more than 14 drinks a week for males and seven drinks a week for females); and an event-specific association (i.e., the relationship between HIV sexual risk behaviors during the most recent sex episode and alcohol intoxication during that episode). Sexual risk behaviors included multiple partners and unprotected sex.

At-risk drinkers were more likely to report multiple partners and unprotected sex with casual partners (both global associations) after adjustments were made for the effects of other variables. Those IDUs who reported that both they and their casual partners were intoxicated during the most recent sex episode were more likely to engage in unprotected sex (an event-specific association).

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The researchers also noted two significant interactions. Among the IDUs who did not inject cocaine, moderate drinkers were more likely to report multiple partners. Among IDUs who self-reported as being HIV-positive, when both primary partners were intoxicated during the most recent sexual episode, they were more likely to engage in unprotected sex. "These observations indicate both global and event-specific associations of alcohol and HIV sexual risk behaviors," the authors concluded.

Back to other news for June 2008

Adapted from:
Drug and Alcohol Dependence
05.01.2008; Vol. 95; No. 1-2; P. 54-61; Kamyar Arasteh, Don C. Des Jarlais, Theresa E. Perlis


  
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
 
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