Alcohol misuse, risky sexual behaviors, and HIV or syphilis infections among Chinese men who have sex with men

Yu Liu, Yuhua Ruan, Shiela M. Strauss, Lu Yin, Hongjie Liu, K. Rivet Amico, Chen Zhang, Yiming Shao, Han Zhu Qian, Sten H. Vermund

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Few studies have employed standardized alcohol misuse measures to assess relationships with sexual risk and HIV/syphilis infections among Chinese men who have sex with men (MSM). Methods We conducted a cross-sectional study among MSM in Beijing during 2013–2014. An interviewer-administered survey was conducted to collect data on sociodemographics, high-risk behaviors, and alcohol use/misuse patterns (hazardous/binge drinking and risk of alcohol dependence) in the past 3 months using Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test-Consumption (AUDIT-C). We defined AUDIT-C score ≥4 as recent hazardous drinkers, and drinking ≥6 standard drinks on one occasion as recent binge drinkers. Results Of 3588 participants, 14.4% reported hazardous drinking, 16.8% reported binge drinking. Hazardous and binge drinking are both associated with these factors (p < 0.05): older age, being migrants, living longer in Beijing, township/village origin, being employed, higher income, self-perceived low/no HIV risk, and sex-finding via non-Internet venues. Hazardous (vs non-hazardous) or binge (vs. non-binge) drinkers were more likely to use illicit drugs, use alcohol before sex, have multiple partnerships, pay for sex, and have condomless insertive anal intercourse. MSM who reported binge (AOR, 1.34, 95% CI, 1.02–1.77) or hazardous (AOR, 1.36, 95% CI, 1.02–1.82) drinking were more likely to be HIV-infected. MSM at high risk of current alcohol dependence (AUDIT-C ≥8) were more likely to be HIV- (AOR, 2.37, 95% CI, 1.39–4.04) or syphilis-infected (AOR, 1.96, 95% CI, 1.01–3.86). Conclusions Recent alcohol misuse was associated with increased sexual and HIV/syphilis risks among Chinese MSM, emphasizing the needs of implementing alcohol risk reduction programs in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-246
Number of pages8
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Alcohol use/misuse
  • China
  • HIV
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Sexual risk
  • Syphilis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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