Original Paper

AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 14, Supplement 1, pp 113-125

First online:

The Use of Qualitative Comparative Analysis for Critical Event Research in Alcohol and HIV in Mumbai, India

  • Jean J. SchensulAffiliated withInstitute For Community Research Email author 
  • , Devyani ChandranAffiliated withSchool of Social Work, St. Olaf College
  • , S. K. SinghAffiliated withInternational Institute For Population Sciences
  • , Marlene BergAffiliated withInstitute For Community Research
  • , Sharad SinghAffiliated withInternational Institute For Population Sciences
  • , Kamla GuptaAffiliated withInternational Institute For Population Sciences

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In this paper we use Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) in critical event analysis to identify under what conditions alcohol is necessary in contributing to unprotected sex. The paper is based on a set of in-depth interviews with 84 men aged 18 = 29 from three typical low income communities in Mumbai who reported using alcohol and having sex with at least one nonspousal partner once or more in the 30 days prior to the interview. The interviews included narratives of critical events defined as recent (past 30–60 day) events involving sexual behavior with or without alcohol. The paper identifies themes related to alcohol, sexuality and condom use, uses QCA to identify and explain configurations leading to protected and unprotected sex, and explains the differences. The analysis shows that alcohol alone is not sufficient to explain any cases involving unprotected sex but alcohol in combination with partner type and contextual factors does explain unprotected sex for subsets of married and unmarried men.


Alcohol HIV Scripts Critical event QCA Prevention