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Miriam Hospital researchers analyze AUDs, sexual behavior among South African men
Date:6/20/2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. In a study of South African men who drink alcohol in informal drinking environments or "shebeens," researchers from The Miriam Hospital have found a high prevalence of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) that directly correlates to unprotected sex. Findings support the need for interventions targeting both alcohol and HIV-risk behaviors among South African men who drink alcohol in alcohol-serving venues. The study and its findings are published in the July issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Lori A. Scott-Sheldon, Ph.D., lead author and researcher at The Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at The Miriam Hospital, and her colleagues examined the extent to which alcohol consumption among patrons of shebeens meets criteria for AUD, a treatable, manageable chronic condition. Shebeens in South Africa are settings in which alcohol use and sexual behavior often co-occur, and the prevalence of AUDs among men frequenting public drinking venues may in part explain South Africa's high rates of HIV.

"The HIV/AIDS epidemic remains a major public health concern in South Africa, home to the largest number of people living with HIV in the world," said Scott-Sheldon. "Not only do South Africans bear the heaviest HIV burden, they also have the highest levels of alcohol consumption per adult drinker worldwide."

Rates of hazardous or harmful drinking (defined as a pattern of drinking that increases the risk of adverse health events or consequences) are also high with one-third of South African adult drinkers reporting hazardous or harmful alcohol use. Prior research in sub-Saharan Africa shows that alcohol use is associated with increased sexual risk behaviors that put people at risk for HIV. Consequently, alcohol consumption, as a contributing factor of HIV infection as well as other health consequences, is a major public health concern in South Africa.

Scott-Sheldon led a study of 763 men with an average age o
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Contact: Elena Falcone-Relvas
efalconerelvas@lifespan.org
401-793-7484
Lifespan
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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