HIV-Risk Behaviors and Social Support among Men and Women Attending Alcohol-Serving Venues in South Africa: Implications for HIV Prevention

September 2017 - Behavioral Prevention

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Veloza, J., Watt, M.H., Abler, L., et al. AIDS and Behavior (July 2017), doi: 10.1007/s10461-017-1853-z.

The authors of this study surveyed 496 male and female patrons of alcohol-serving venues to examine the relative influences of frequency of attendance at the venues, substance use, HIV-associated risk behaviors, and protections offered by social support. More men than women reported meeting new sex partners at such venues (31% versus 16%, respectively). Men reported having an average of 4.4 partners during the past 4 months; women reported 1.2. Both sexes reported using protection during about half of the sexual encounters. Women who visited bars daily reported high social support, binge drinking, and substance use. Women with social support were less likely to look for a sex partner, have sex at the venue, or have unprotected sex. Men who visited daily did not have high social support, were more likely to binge drink, and exhibited hazardous alcohol consumption. However, men who had high social support at the venue were more likely to use protection during sex. Women who visited daily were more likely to have a higher number of sexual partners, including outside the venue; but this was not the case among men who visited daily. Future interventions should address the risks and benefits of social support and gender in regular bar patrons to reduce harmful alcohol use and related risk behaviors among these customers.

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