Prevalence and correlates of hazardous alcohol consumption and binge drinking among men who have sex with men (MSM) in San Francisco.PLoS One. 2018; 13(8):e0202170.Plos
To describe heavy alcohol use patterns and correlates in a diverse sample of MSM.
We used respondent-driven sampling (RDS) to enroll 252 alcohol-using MSM in San Francisco from March 2015-July 2017. We examined heavy alcohol use patterns and conducted RDS-adjusted multivariable analyses to characterize correlates of hazardous alcohol consumption and binge drinking.
RDS-adjusted prevalence of weekly and at least weekly binge drinking was 24.9% and 19.3%, respectively. Hazardous consumption was common; prevalence of mid- and high-levels of hazardous drinking was 11.4% and 29.9%, respectively. In multivariable analyses, identifying as Hispanic/Latino or mixed/other race; being moderately or extremely interested in reducing alcohol use; ever receiving alcohol treatment; using ecstasy; reporting syphilis diagnosis; and having more than 5 male partners were independently associated with hazardous alcohol consumption. Less hazardous consumption was associated with having a bachelor's degree or completing post-graduate studies; and not being in a relationship. Reporting chlamydia infection; being somewhat, moderately or extremely interested in reducing alcohol use; and having multiple male sex partners were associated with higher odds of at least weekly binge drinking. Lower odds of binge drinking were associated with completing post-graduate studies. Moreover, for the outcomes of hazardous alcohol consumption and binge-drinking, we observed significant interaction effects between race/ethnicity and interest in reducing alcohol, past receipt of alcohol treatment, use of ecstasy, syphilis diagnosis, and number of male partners.
Among alcohol-using MSM in San Francisco, heavy drinking patterns were common and independently associated with greater number of male sexual partners and sexually transmitted infections (STI). Moreover, significant racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities related to heavy alcohol use were observed and race/ethnicity modified the effect of the risk factors associated with these outcomes. These findings underscore the need to develop more MSM-specific interventions that jointly address heavy alcohol use and HIV/STI risk, as well as culturally-tailored and targeted strategies to alleviate health disparities.