Summary:The association of alcohol consumption and unsafe sexual behavior known to increase the risk of HIV transmission was examined among blacks, Hispanics, and whites. Data were obtained from a 1990 general population survey on alcohol use that included questions on sexual behavior. Analyses examined sex and ethnic differences in patterns of sexual behavior and the influence of demographic factors and alcohol use on risky sexual behavior. Patterns of sexual behavior differed by ethnicity and sex, with black and Hispanic men reporting more frequent sexual intercourse and a greater number of sexual partners. Women who were single and heavier drinkers with a longer history of sexual activity and of Hispanic origin were more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior. Men who were younger, single, heavier drinkers, and less religious were more likely to engage in unsafe sex, with black men being most at risk. The association of alcohol with unsafe sexual behavior implies that combining AIDS education with interventions that aim at reducing levels of alcohol use might lead to more effective AIDS prevention programs among high-risk populations.
Alcohol Research Group, Western Consortium for Public Health, Berkeley, California, U.S.A.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Raul Caetano, Alcohol Research Group, 2000 Hearst Avenue, Suite 300, Berkeley, CA 94709-2176, U.S.A.
Manuscript received October 3, 1994; accepted June 12, 1995.
© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.