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.
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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.
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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 was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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Wray, T.B., Celio, M.A., Pérez, A.E. et al. Causal Effects of Alcohol Intoxication on Sexual Risk Intentions and Condom Negotiation Skills Among High-Risk Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM). AIDS Behav 23, 161–174 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-018-2243-x
- Men who have sex with men
- HIV risk behavior
- Condom use