The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3325.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 10

Abstract #72443

Alcohol’s effect on risky sexual decision-making: A controlled laboratory experiment

Kelly Kajumulo, MPH1, Tina Zawacki, PhD1, William H. George, PhD1, and Jeanette Norris, PhD2. (1) Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Campus Box 351525, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, 206-543-6711,, (2) Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, University of Washington, Campus Box 354805, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195

Alcohol has emerged as an important factor in sexual HIV transmission. Many survey studies have showed important correlations between alcohol consumption and risky sexual decision-making, but have not necessarily established causality. We conducted a controlled laboratory experiment manipulating alcohol condition in order to provide a causal link. Men (n=19) and women (n=23) were randomly assigned to receive either a non-alcoholic drink, or a dose of vodka/orange juice calculated to induce a peak BAC of 0.08 (approximately 4 drinks for the average participant). When drinking participants reached criterion BAC, they began the vignette portion of the study. Control and drinking participants were temporally matched so that they began reading the vignette at the same time point in the study. The vignette depicted a man and woman who met at a party and then progressed from flirtation to a consensual sexual encounter. Using a multi-item scale (alpha=.82), participants rated the likelihood that they would engage in sex without a condom, if they were in the situation depicted in the vignette. A 2 (Gender of participant: female, male) by 2 (Alcohol condition: sober, intoxicated) Analysis of Variance showed that intoxicated participants rated themselves as significantly more likely to have unprotected sexual intercourse (M=3.12, SD=1.19), as compared to sober participants (M=2.33, SD=1.23), F(1,38)= 4.53, p<.04. There were no significant gender effects. These results provide evidence supporting a causal link between intoxication and increased risky sexual decision-making.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Alcohol Use, HIV Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: State university employee

Patterns in Young Adult Drug Use and Risky Behaviors Poster Session

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA