Causal Effects of Alcohol Intoxication on Sexual Risk Intentions and Condom Negotiation Skills Among High-Risk Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM)

  • Tyler B. Wray
  • Mark A. Celio
  • Ashley E. Pérez
  • Graham T. DiGuiseppi
  • Daniel J. Carr
  • Laura Allison Woods
  • Peter M. Monti
Original Paper


Alcohol use is a key risk factor for HIV infection among MSM, in part because intoxication may interfere with the use of prevention methods like condoms. However, few studies have examined whether this is due to alcohol’s pharmacological or expectancy effects or explored the specific aspects of sexual decision-making that may be affected. In this study, high-risk, heavy drinking MSM (N = 121) were randomly assigned to receive either (1) alcohol beverages, (2) placebo beverages, or (3) control beverages, before navigating a video-based sexual risk scenario that assessed several aspects of sexual decision-making. Results showed that condom use intentions and negotiation behaviors were lower among alcohol and placebo participants compared with controls, but that few significant differences emerged between the alcohol and placebo groups. These findings contrast with similar past studies, and suggest that alcohol’s expectancy effects may play a role in sexual decision-making.


Alcohol Men who have sex with men HIV risk behavior Condom use 



This manuscript was supported by P01AA019072 (to PM), L30AA023336 (to TW), K05AA019681 (to PM), and K08AA024056 (to MC) from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Alcohol and Addictions StudiesBrown University School of Public HealthProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Department of Social and Behavioral SciencesUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

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