Taxonomy of Caribbean tourism alcohol venues: Implications for HIV transmission

Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, James Jaccard, Katharine McCarthy, Zahira Quiñones, Viktor Lushin, Molly Skinner-Day, Mark Padilla, Leah Meisterlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Tourism areas represent ecologies of heightened HIV vulnerability characterized by a disproportionate concentration of alcohol venues. Limited research has explored how alcohol venues facilitate HIV transmission. Methods: We spatially mapped locations of alcohol venues in a Dominican tourism town and conducted a venue-based survey of key informants (n= 135) focused on three facets of alcohol venues: structural features, type of patrons, and HIV risk behaviors. Using latent class analysis, we identified evidence-based typologies of alcohol venues for each of the three facets. Focused contrasts identified the co-occurrence of classes of structural features, classes of types of patrons, and classes of HIV risk behavior, thus elaborating the nature of high risk venues. Results: We identified three categories of venue structural features, three for venue patrons, and five for HIV risk behaviors. Analysis revealed that alcohol venues with the greatest structural risks (e.g. sex work on-site with lack of HIV prevention services) were most likely frequented by the venue patron category characterized by high population-mixing between locals and foreign tourists, who were in turn most likely to engage in the riskiest behaviors. Conclusion: Our results highlight the stratification of venue patrons into groups who engage in behaviors of varying risk in structural settings that vary in risk. The convergence of high-risk patron groups in alcohol venues with the greatest structural risk suggests these locations have potential for HIV transmission. Policymakers and prevention scientists can use these methods and data to target HIV prevention resources to identified priority areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-243
Number of pages6
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013


  • Alcohol venues
  • Dominican Republic
  • HIV transmission
  • Latent cluster analysis
  • Tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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