Unhealthy alcohol use is common among MSM taking PrEP. The majority of drug use reported was marijuana and poppers, and drug use other than these was uncommon among our cohort. Read more!
Alcohol use is a key risk factor for HIV infection among MSM, in part because intoxication may interfere with the use of prevention methods like condoms. However, few studies have examined whether this is due to alcohol's pharmacological or expectancy effects. These findings suggest that alcohol's expectancy effects may play a role in sexual decision-making.
We've known for awhile that computers can help counsel patients to make better decisions about their health. But, most of the systems built for this purpose so far require users to interact with the "counselor" using a "point-and-click" interface. That is, patients enter their responses to the computer's prompts by clicking, pressing, typing, and so on. Obviously, most typical counseling interactions with a person simply allow patients to speak naturally about their experiences, and this may be a more potent way of interacting that leads to better outcomes. In a small study, we tested whether a computer counseling system that used a natural speech interface helped heavy-drinking college students reduce their alcohol use and alcohol-related problems, when compared with a "point-and-click" interface. Find out more about our results here!
In a paper we recently published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, we showed that one way alcohol intoxication may lead to riskier choices about sex is that sex-related cues may command more of your attention than when you're sober. This could make sex seem more impelling, even at the expense of its consequences.