Current HIV/AIDS Reports

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 314–323 | Cite as

Alcohol Use and Sexual Risk Behaviors among Individuals Infected with HIV: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis 2012 to Early 2013

  • Lori A. J. Scott-SheldonEmail author
  • Paige Walstrom
  • Kate B. Carey
  • Blair T. Johnson
  • Michael P. Carey
  • the MASH Research Team
Behavioral Aspects of HIV Management (RJ DiClemente and JL Brown, Section Editors)


The purpose of this meta-analytic study is to summarize the current science concerning the (a) prevalence of alcohol use, (b) prevalence of sexual risk behaviors, and (c) association between alcohol use and sexual risk behaviors among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Studies were included if they sampled PLWHA, evaluated both alcohol use and sexual risk behavior (e.g., condom use, multiple partners), and were published between January 1, 2012, and April 1, 2013. Comprehensive electronic database searches located 728 published studies with relevant keywords; 17 studies (k = 19 reports) were included. Findings indicate that a substantial proportion of PLWHA use alcohol and engage in sexual risk behaviors. Among PLWHA, alcohol use was significantly associated with unprotected sex (d+ = 0.23, 95 % CI = 0.05, 0.40; k = 5). Secondary prevention programs for PLWHA that address alcohol use in the context of sexual behavior are needed.


Alcohol Sexual behavior Sexual risk behaviors HIV/AIDS People living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) Meta-analysis Behavioral aspects of HIV management Prevention programs 



The authors thank Erika Sevetson, MS, for her assistance with determining the search terms and profile for the current meta-analysis and the study authors who provided additional data to assist our coding and analyses of their studies.

Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Blair T. Johnson received support for travel to meetings for the study or otherwise from NIH/NIAAA (R01-AA021355).

Lori A. J. Scott-Sheldon, Paige Walstrom, Kate B. Carey, Michael P. Carey, and MASH Research Team (i.e., Chiao-Wen Lan, Matthew Pina, Xinmiao Tan) declare that they have no conflict of interest.


Research reported in this paper was supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health under award number R01 AA021355 to Lori A. J. Scott-Sheldon. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lori A. J. Scott-Sheldon
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Paige Walstrom
    • 1
  • Kate B. Carey
    • 3
  • Blair T. Johnson
    • 4
  • Michael P. Carey
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • the MASH Research Team
    • 1
  1. 1.Centers for Behavioral and Preventive MedicineThe Miriam HospitalProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Alpert School of MedicineBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  3. 3.Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences, School of Public HealthBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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