Intoxication Before Intercourse and Risky Sexual Behavior in Male Veterans with and Without Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection

The present article investigated risky sexual behavior, and the role intoxication before intercourse may play in such behavior, for male veterans. The study sample consisted of 1,719 men from the Veterans Aging Cohort 5-Site Feasibility Study (VACS 5) who were either negative (N = 710) or positive (N = 1,009) for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Participants were given written questionnaires that assessed depression, risky sexual behaviors (i.e., inconsistent condom use, inconsistent condom use and two or more sexual partners in the past year, and multiple (five or more) sexual partners in the past year), and alcohol and drug use.

Key Findings:

  • Among sexually active men (N = 1,161), those who were HIV-positive were significantly more likely to use condoms during last sexual intercourse (75% vs. 25%) and to have had multiple sexual partners over the last year (4% vs. 14%) than those who were HIV-negative.
  • The percentage of HIV-positive and HIV-negative men who stated they had two or more partners and used condoms inconsistently during last intercourse was similar at 10 percent for each group.
  • For HIV-positive, sexually active men being intoxicated prior to intercourse was significantly related to multiple sexual partners, inconsistent condom use, and the combination of two or more sexual partners and inconsistent condom use. There was no significant relationship among the above constructs, though trends were observed, for HIV-negative veterans.

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