Alcohol Use and Subsequent Sex among HIV-Infected Patients in an Ethnic Minority Area of Yunnan Province, China

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From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 8, Issue 4)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Article
Length: 4,832 words
Lexile Measure: 1580L

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Author(s): Xiaofeng Luo 1,2, Song Duan 3, Qixiang Duan 4, Yongcheng Pu 4, Yuecheng Yang 3, Yingying Ding 1,2, Meiyang Gao 1,2, Na He 1,2,*


In spite of substantial efforts aimed at reducing the spread of HIV, HIV incidence continues to remain at a high level throughout many parts of the world, with 2.5 million people being newly infected with HIV in 2011 only [1]. The dominant transmission mode was unprotected sexual intercourse which bridged HIV spreading between HIV-infected and non-infected individuals. Literature has showed that over 70% of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) remains sexually active after diagnosis with HIV infection [2], and that one-third of them engage in unprotected sexual behavior [3]. Some reports have shown the rates reached up to 84% [4].

Alcoholic beverages are widely consumed psychoactive substance throughout the world [5], and alcohol has long been recognized as a significant contributor to illness and injury, accounting for 4% of the global burden of disease [6]. Since the middle 1980s, the global literature suggests that alcohol consumption is associated with a number of sexual risk behaviors including premarital intercourse, multiple sexual partners, unprotected sex, sexual violence, as well as outcomes such as unwanted pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) [7]-[9]. Moreover, heavy alcohol consumption tends to be more prevalent among PLWHA than among the general population [10]. In this context, alcohol-related problems and co-occurred unsafe sex further amplify considerable contributions of alcohol to the global burden of diseases [11].

Nevertheless, data on the association between alcohol use and sexual risk practice in China are limited, and mainly focused on specific sub-population such as drug users, migrants, female sex workers (FSWs) and men having sex with men (MSM) in metropolitan and coastal areas [12]-[15]. Little is known about alcohol use and its association with sexual risk practice among PLWHA in China. This is problematic as drinking is socially accepted and plays a significant role in daily life in China due to culture, custom, faith and belief [16], while sexual transmission replaced injection drug use (IDU) as the dominant mode of HIV transmission in China since 2007 [17] and 81.6% of the estimated 48,000 newly infected HIV patients in 2011 were due to unprotected sexual behaviors [18]. To fill this significant gap, we designed and conducted a community-based cross-sectional study in an ethnic minority area in Dehong Prefecture of Yunnan Province to examine prevalence and correlates of alcohol use and subsequent sexual engagement among HIV-infected patients. The study site was so chosen for the following concerns: 1) China's first HIV outbreak was observed among IDUs in 1989 in Dehong Prefecture of Yunnan Province which borders the drug-trafficking routes known as the "Golden Triangle" and has a high concentration of ethnic minorities [19]; 2) Yunnan Province has the largest number of reported HIV/AIDS cases among all Chinese provinces, accounting for 22% (93,567) of the total of 429,000 reported HIV/AIDS cases (PLWHs) in this country [20]; 3) ethnic minorities in this province have been disproportionally affected by...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A478152499