AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 1021–1036

Alcohol as a Correlate of Unprotected Sexual Behavior Among People Living with HIV/AIDS: Review and Meta-Analysis


    • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
    • Department of PsychologyUniversity of Toronto
  • Narges Joharchi
    • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Hyacinth Irving
    • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • Jürgen Rehm
    • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
    • Dalla Lana School of Public HealthUniversity of Toronto
    • Institute for Clinical Psychology and PsychotherapyTU Dresden
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10461-009-9589-z

Cite this article as:
Shuper, P.A., Joharchi, N., Irving, H. et al. AIDS Behav (2009) 13: 1021. doi:10.1007/s10461-009-9589-z


The present investigation attempted to quantify the relationship between alcohol consumption and unprotected sexual behavior among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). A comprehensive search of the literature was performed to identify key studies on alcohol and sexual risk behavior among PLWHA, and three separate meta-analyses were conducted to examine associations between unprotected sex and (1) any alcohol consumption, (2) problematic drinking, and (3) alcohol use in sexual contexts. Based on 27 relevant studies, meta-analyses demonstrated that any alcohol consumption (OR = 1.63, CI = 1.39–1.91), problematic drinking (OR = 1.69, CI = 1.45–1.97), and alcohol use in sexual contexts (OR = 1.98, CI = 1.63–2.39) were all found to be significantly associated with unprotected sex among PLWHA. Taken together, these results suggest that there is a significant link between PLWHA’s use of alcohol and their engagement in high-risk sexual behavior. These findings have implications for the development of interventions to reduce HIV transmission risk behavior in this population.


AlcoholCondomsHIVMeta-analysisSexual behavior

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009