Background This study aimed to investigate the associations between alcohol use and sexual risk behaviour in migrant men and women living in Johannesburg.
Methods 1465 men and 1008 women living in six hostels and five neighbouring informal settlements respectively were surveyed. Using logistic regression, the association between five measures of alcohol use (current alcohol consumption, frequency of drinking, drunk in the past week, daily alcohol consumption, drinking habit) and five sexual risk behaviours (transactional sex, inconsistent condom use, coercive sex, multiple sexual partners and concurrency) in men and women was assessed.
Results More men than women reported current alcohol use (42% vs 12%). Among current drinkers, 23% of men and 29% of women reported being drunk in the past week. Consistent condom use was low in both men and women (6%). More men (53%) than women (7%) reported multiple sexual partnerships. In men, frequent drinking (Adjusted OR [AOR] for upper category: 3.1, 95% CI: 1.7% to 5.5%) and being drunk in the past week (AOR: 3.3, 95% CI: 1.8% to 6.0%) were associated with coercive sex. Frequent drinking (AOR for upper category: 1.5, 95% CI: 1.1% to 2.2%) and being drunk (AOR: 2.0, 95% CI 1.4% to 3.0%) was also associated with multiple sexual partnerships. In women, frequent drinking (AOR for upper category: 3.0, 95% CI: 1.0% to 8.9%) and being drunk in the past week (AOR: 3.4, 95% CI: 1.3% to 9.4%) were experiencing coercive sex. Alcohol use did not appear to influence reported condom use.
Conclusions Alcohol use was associated with several high-risk sexual behaviours in both men and women. Future HIV prevention interventions should focus on the associations between alcohol, partner violence and HIV risk.
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