AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 523–536 | Cite as

Alcohol Use and Associated Sexual and Substance Use Behaviors Among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Moscow, Russia

  • A. L. WirtzEmail author
  • C. E. Zelaya
  • C. Latkin
  • R. Stall
  • A. Peryshkina
  • N. Galai
  • V. Mogilniy
  • P. Dzhigun
  • I. Kostetskaya
  • C. Beyrer
Original Paper


Alcohol use is a public health problem in the Russian Federation. This study explored relationships between alcohol use and behavioral risks for HIV transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Moscow, Russia. Alcohol use disorder identification test (AUDIT) scores for 1367 MSM participating in a cross-sectional survey and HIV testing were categorized to: “abstinence/low use”, “hazardous use”, “harmful use/dependency”. Multiple logistic regression models compared dependent variables for sexual and drug use behaviors across alcohol use strata. Hazardous and harmful/dependent alcohol use were significantly associated with high-risk sexual behaviors and drug use. Harmful use/dependency was associated with an increased odds of having more than five male sex partners (last 12 months; adjusted odds ratios—AOR 1.69; 95 % CI 1.25–2.27), inconsistent condom use during anal intercourse (AOR 2.19; 95 % CI 1.61–2.96) and, among those using recreational drugs, injection drug use (last month; AOR 4.38: 95 % CI 1.13–17.07) compared to abstinent/low-level users. Harmful/dependent use was marginally associated with HIV infection (AOR 1.48; 95 % CI 0.97–2.25). HIV prevention efforts for MSM in Moscow may benefit from addressing problem alcohol use to mitigate high-risk behaviors.


Men who have sex with men Alcohol use HIV Russian Federation Sexual behavior 



We wish to thank SANAM clinic and Tatiana Bondarenko for insight, support, and use of the SANAM clinic for conduct of qualitative research and the Be Safe study. We appreciate the efforts put for by Irina Deobald and Konstantin Dyakonov in the formative phases of this project. We are deeply thankful to the participants who contributed their time and personal experiences to this study. Funding for this research came from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH R01 MH085574-01A2) “High Risk Men: Identity, Health Risks, HIV and Stigma” funded from 2009 to 2014.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Emergency MedicineJohns Hopkins Medical InstituteBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology, Center for Public Health and Human RightsJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Department of Health, Behavior and SocietyJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Department of Behavioral and Community Health SciencesGraduate School of Public Health University of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  5. 5.AIDS InfoshareMoscowRussian Federation

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