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AIDS Behav. 2007 Mar;11(2):217-26.

Alcohol and sexuality research in the AIDS era: trends in publication activity, target populations and research design.

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Department of Psychology, University of Washington, 351525, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.


Research addressing relationships between alcohol and human sexuality has proliferated, due in part to efforts to characterize alcohol's role in HIV risk behavior. This study provides a descriptive review of the alcohol-sexuality literature, using abstracts from 264 identified studies to estimate changes in publication activity, target populations, and the prevalence of HIV-related studies over time. We also examine methodological trends by estimating the prevalence of experimental vs. non-experimental studies. Findings show considerable increases in research activity and diversity of populations studied since the mid-1980's and highlight the emergence of HIV-related studies as a focal point of alcohol-sexuality research efforts. Results also demonstrate a substantial decline in the proportion of studies utilizing experimental methods, in part because of frequent use of non-experimental approaches in studies of alcohol and HIV risk behavior. We discuss implications and review the role of experiments in evaluating causal relationships between alcohol and sexual risk behavior.

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