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Annu Rev Sex Res. 2000;11:125-57.

Does alcohol lead to sexual risk behavior? Findings from event-level research.

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Center for AIDS Intervention Research Medical College of Wisconsin, 2071 N. Summit Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53202, USA.


The belief that alcohol use leads to sexual risk behavior is nearly ubiquitous. To determine if this belief is warranted, we identify theory and research regarding the alcohol, risky-sex link. We focus our review on studies that use the event-level methodology because this approach provides a particularly sensitive but stringent test of the situational alcohol, risky-sex connection. Overall, the data from available event-level studies indicate that people who use condoms when they are sober also tend to use them when drinking; people who fail to use condoms when drinking probably also fail to use them when sober. We recognize several empirical exceptions to this rule and provide suggestions for future research.

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