Alcohol consumption, which gives a high, has long been associated with unsafe sex. Now, a new study directly relates it to HIV infection.
In spite of substantial efforts to prevent unsafe sex, HIV incidence in most high-income countries remains unchanged over the past decade or has increased in some instances.
Alcohol consumption, especially heavy drinking, has long been associated with HIV incidence. However, there have been doubts about the cause-and-effect relationship, the journal Addiction reports.
"Drinking has a causal effect on the likelihood to engage in unsafe sex, and thus should be included as a major factor in preventive efforts for HIV," says J rgen Rehm, professor in addiction policy at the Dalla Lana School Public Health, University of Toronto and the principal study investigator.
The study summarises the results of 12 experiments that tested this cause-and-effect relationship in a systematic way, according to a Toronto statement.
They found that alcohol consumption affects decision-making, and that this impact rises with the amount of alcohol consumed. The more alcohol that participants consumed, the higher their willingness to engage in unsafe sex.