Enhancing HIV Prevention Through Drinking Reduction

Dr. Dermen evaluated the impact of two-session motivational interventions that focused on drinking reduction, HIV risk reduction, and their combination among male and female college students. The relationship between drinking and condom use also was assessed. Analyses of baseline data revealed that alcohol use prior to an occurrence of sexual intercourse was correlated with a greater likelihood of condom use during that occurrence. This was true even when analyses controlled for each student's expectations about the effects of alcohol and the length of the student's relationship with his or her intercourse partner. Analyses of one-year post-intervention follow-up data indicated that the alcohol-focused brief interventions reduced alcohol use but had no impact on sexual risk behavior. The HIV-focused interventions reduced the number of sexual partners reported by students. Frequency of sex without using a condom diminished in all conditions, including a control condition in which no intervention was delivered. Thus, although the brief alcohol-focused motivational intervention appeared to be useful for reducing drinking among college students, reducing college students' alcohol use did not appear to be an effective method of increasing HIV-preventive behavior such as condom use. Funded by a grant of $1,442,033 from NIAAA, 1998-2003.