Alcohol use and its association with sexual risk behaviors in the Armed Forces of the Republic of the Congo


Autoři: Bonnie Robin Tran aff001;  Nicole Glass aff001;  Osika Tripathi aff001;  Olivier Kalombo aff003;  Pascal Ibata aff004;  Romain Bagamboula Mpassi aff004
Působiště autorů: Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program, San Diego, California, United States of America aff001;  Leidos Inc., Reston, Virginia, United States of America aff002;  US Embassy, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo aff003;  Armed Forces of the Republic of the Congo, Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo aff004
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(10)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0223322

Souhrn

Background

Previous research has shown alcohol misuse amplifies the risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections [STIs], including HIV, by increasing high risk sexual behaviors. Military populations are particularly vulnerable to both alcohol misuse and STIs due to the unique conditions of military service. This study estimated the prevalence of probable hazardous and harmful alcohol use and examined associations with transactional sex, sex with a sex worker, and multiple sexual partners among military personnel in the Armed Forces of the Republic of the Congo (FAC).

Methods

A secondary analysis of data collected from a 2014 seroprevalence and behavioral epidemiology risk survey was performed. Participants included 703 active duty male service members 18 years of age or older who reported ever having sex. Patterns of harmful and hazardous drinking were measured with the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). Participants with an AUDIT score ≥ 8 (indicative of probable hazardous and harmful alcohol use, and possible alcohol dependence) were compared to those with an AUDIT score ≤ 7.

Results

A total of 15.8% received a score of 8 or higher on the AUDIT. These participants were more likely to be lower educated and of lower military rank. In separate multivariable models, an AUDIT score ≥ 8 was significantly associated with higher odds of sex with a commercial sex worker and having multiple sexual partners.

Conclusions

Study results emphasize the need to address patterns of harmful and hazardous alcohol use in the FAC and integrate alcohol misuse education into the HIV prevention program. The development of military-specific interventions to reduce alcohol-related risky sexual behaviors are also needed. Lastly, implementing policies such as restricting alcohol availability and sales on military bases, and adding warning labels to advertisements and containers may provide a more comprehensive response to reduce problematic alcohol use.

Klíčová slova:

Alcohol consumption – Alcoholism – Armed forces – HIV epidemiology – HIV infections – Human sexual behavior – Military personnel – Schools


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