Men who have sex with men (MSM) represent over half of new HIV infections in the United States. It is important to understand the factors associated with engaging in risky sexual behavior to develop effective prevention interventions. Binge drinking (≥5 drinks on ≥1 occasion) is the most common form of excessive alcohol consumption. This study examines the relationship between binge drinking and sexual risk behaviors among MSM who are current drinkers and who were either HIV-negative or unaware of their HIV status.
Using the 2011 National HIV Behavioral Surveillance system and multivariable Poisson models with robust error estimates, we assessed the association between binge drinking and sexual risk behaviors among current drinkers. Prevalence ratios (PR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) are presented.
Overall, 85% of MSM were current drinkers, and 59% of MSM who drank reported ≥1 episode of binge drinking in the preceding 30 days. In multivariable models, binge drinking was associated with condomless anal intercourse (CAI) at last sex with an HIV-positive or unknown status partner (receptive: PR 1.3, 95% CI 1.1-1.6; insertive: PR 1.2, 95% CI 1.0-1.4), having exchanged sex for money or drugs at last sex (PR: 1.4, 95% CI 1.1-1.7), having concurrent partners in the past year (PR: 1.1, 95% CI 1.1-1.2), and having more CAI partners in the past year (PR: 1.2, 95% CI 1.0-1.4) compared to non-binge drinkers.
Evidence-based strategies for reducing binge drinking could help reduce risky sexual behavior among MSM.