Addiction Vol. 107; No. 1: P. 51-59 (01..12) - Thursday,
To assess whether alcohol could have an independent effect on
incidence of HIV/STIs, the authors conducted a systematic
review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled studies that
examined the association of blood alcohol content (BAC) and
self-perceived likelihood of condom use during intercourse.
The meta-analysis included an estimate of dose-response
effect, tests for publication bias, and sensitivity analyses.
For the 12 studies included in the pooled analysis, an
increase in BAC of 0.1 mg/ml resulted in an increase of 5.0
percent (95 percent confidence interval: 2.8-7.1 percent) in
the Likert scale-indicated likelihood of engaging in
unprotected sex. Adjusting for potential publication bias, the
estimate dropped to 2.9 percent (95 percent CI: 2.0-3.9
"Thus, the larger the alcohol intake and the subsequent level
of BAC, the higher the intentions to engage in unsafe sex,"
the researchers reported. "The main results were homogenous,
persisting in sensitivity analyses and after correction for
"Alcohol use is an independent risk factor for intentions to
engage in unprotected sex, and as risky sex intentions have
been shown to be linked to actual risk behavior, the role of
alcohol consumption in the transmission of HIV and other STIs
may be of public health importance," concluded the authors.