Gay and bi men are often inundated with HIV information, potentially to the point of fatigue. This may lead to avoidance of HIV related thoughts. However, these findings suggest that those who tend to avoid HIV-related thoughts may be at increased risk for HIV and alcohol-related problems. Read more about this, here.
We studied associations between discrimination and alcohol outcomes. We can report that more discrimination events can lead to more alcohol problems. This is true among HIV + and HIV - gay/bi men. Additionally, reporting more discrimination experiences was associated with drinking more frequently for sexual reasons among both groups.
In our ongoing effort to understand exactly why alcohol and drug use increases the risk for sexually-transmitted infections like HIV, a paper we published in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors showed that some gay/bi men may drink specifically to feel less inhibited about meeting romantic partners, and that these men may end up drinking more heavily than others. This tendency could also be one factor that increases risk for STIs and HIV in these men, but more carefully-designed studies are needed to explore this.