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Study Suggests Binge Drinking Increases HIV Risk in Sexually Active Gay Men in New York

A recent study by New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene found that binge drinking heightens the risk of HIV in males who have sex with other men (MSM). This is according to a report by the New York Times’ City Room.

The study was entitled “Alcohol Use and Risky Sex in New York City” and based its findings from data gathered through the 2007 Community Health Survey and the National HIV Behavioral Surveillance project.

According to the study, about 24% of sexually active homosexual males in New York admitted to engaging in excessive drinking at least once a month. The study also found that, “binge drinkers were 50% more likely than non-binge drinkers – and three times more likely than non-drinkers – to report having two to four sexual partners in the previous year.”

Based on the gathered data, the study also came out with the following findings:

  • 27% of respondents in the surveillance study have had casual sex while drunk
  • 12% admitted to having been drinking and taking drugs when they last had sex
  • 65% of sexually active gay men who drank alcohol were more apt to use condoms during intercourse.

According to New York City health commissioner Thomas Frieden, “Heavy drinkers are more likely to have multiple partners – increasing their risk of HIV and unplanned pregnancy.” He further adds that the prevalence of syphilis and HIV is continuously increasing among sexually active gay men in the city. “Many New Yorkers recognize that drinking increases the risk of injuries and auto accidents, but they may not recognize these other risks.

The study also looked into teenage binge drinking behavior. 25% of the teen respondents who drank liquor over the past month also admitted having more than one sexual partner as compared to the 11% who didn’t drink. Only 60% of them used condoms even while they are drunk or they have taken drugs beforehand. Moreover, 14% of teenagers also drank excessively over the past month.

The study calls to mind the importance of more extensive education on the dangers of binge drinking beyond the usual alcohol-related traffic accidents. Here at Miramar Recovery Centers, we take pride in providing relevant information on alcoholism and drug addiction. Our drug and alcohol addiction treatment are individualized to address the needs of each client. Contact us through this website for details.