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Subst Abus. 2006 Dec;27(4):37-43.

Alcohol and risks for HIV/AIDS among sexually transmitted infection clinic patients in Cape Town, South Africa.

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  • 1Human Sciences Research Council, Cape Town, South Africa. lsimbayi@hsrc.acza


Alcohol use is prevalent in South Africa and alcohol use may be associated with higher risk for HIV transmission. This paper reports a study of the association between alcohol use and HIV risk-related behavior among 134 men and 92 women receiving sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinic services in Cape Town, South Africa. Participants completed anonymous surveys of demographic information, substance use, and sexual risk behaviors. Results showed that problem drinking was common among STI clinic patients; 58% of men and 28% of women scored above a cut-off of 9 on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) suggesting possible problem drinking and 46% of men and 19% of women scored above 12 on the AUDIT indicating probable drinking problems. For men, heavier alcohol use was associated with having multiple sex partners in the past month, less condom use, and having a history of sexually assaulting women. Among women, higher scores on the AUDIT were also related to having multiple sex partners as well as a history of exchanging sex for money or materials. The association between alcohol use and sexual risk behaviors in a population at high-risk for HIV transmission demonstrates the need for integrating alcohol risk reduction counseling with HIV prevention counseling among STI clinic patients in South Africa.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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