Alcohol Use and Associated Sexual and Substance Use Behaviors Among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Moscow, Russia

A. L. Wirtz, C. E. Zelaya, C. Latkin, R. Stall, A. Peryshkina, N. Galai, V. Mogilniy, P. Dzhigun, I. Kostetskaya, C. Beyrer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Alcohol use is a public health problem in the Russian Federation. This study explored relationships between alcohol use and behavioral risks for HIV transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Moscow, Russia. Alcohol use disorder identification test (AUDIT) scores for 1367 MSM participating in a cross-sectional survey and HIV testing were categorized to: “abstinence/low use”, “hazardous use”, “harmful use/dependency”. Multiple logistic regression models compared dependent variables for sexual and drug use behaviors across alcohol use strata. Hazardous and harmful/dependent alcohol use were significantly associated with high-risk sexual behaviors and drug use. Harmful use/dependency was associated with an increased odds of having more than five male sex partners (last 12 months; adjusted odds ratios—AOR 1.69; 95 % CI 1.25–2.27), inconsistent condom use during anal intercourse (AOR 2.19; 95 % CI 1.61–2.96) and, among those using recreational drugs, injection drug use (last month; AOR 4.38: 95 % CI 1.13–17.07) compared to abstinent/low-level users. Harmful/dependent use was marginally associated with HIV infection (AOR 1.48; 95 % CI 0.97–2.25). HIV prevention efforts for MSM in Moscow may benefit from addressing problem alcohol use to mitigate high-risk behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-536
Number of pages14
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Alcohol use
  • HIV
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Russian Federation
  • Sexual behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Social Psychology


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