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The double whammy of multiple sex partners and drinking in HIV/STI prevention
Date:4/8/2014

PHILADELPHIA (April 8, 2014) The cartoon character Homer J. Simpson once said "Alcohol: The source of, and solution to, all of life's problems."

The sage of the ubiquitous and fictional town of Springfield may have hit the nail on the head when it comes to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) counseling and prevention. The more you drink and/or the more sex partners you have, the less likely you are to engage in HIV-prevention programs.

This rather grim assessment came about from the study, "Barriers to accessing HIV-prevention in clinic settings: Higher alcohol use and more sex partners predict decreased exposure to HIV-prevention counseling." It was published online this month in the journal Psychology Health & Medicine by Kristina Wilson and Dolores Albarracn, both with the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication. Wilson is also affiliated with the Office of Performance Improvement, Florida Department of Health, Duval County, Jacksonville, Fla.

"The irony is that the very behaviors that put people at risk for HIV and STIs are the same behaviors that keep people from seeking prevention counseling," says Wilson and Albarracn.

Understanding why someone does or does not enroll in a prevention program is a significant piece of information for public health departments. Yet relatively little is known about what motivates individuals to participate in HIV-prevention programs or whether some audiences are more or less willing to take advantage of the HIV-prevention counseling programs commonly provided at health clinics. Understanding motivation is significant since, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 50,000 new HIV infections occur annually.

Wilson and Albarracn's study seeks to determine if number of sex partners and alcohol consumption predict an individual's acceptance of an invitation to take part
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Contact: Joseph J. Diorio
jdiorio@asc.upenn.edu
215-746-1798
University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School for Communication
Source:Eurekalert  

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The double whammy of multiple sex partners and drinking in HIV/STI prevention
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