Alcohol Testing Substance Abuse

Consumption of Too Much Alcohol Linked to Unsafe Sex

The consumption of too much alcohol has been linked to a behavior that is also deemed as a health risk: unsafe sex, which is known to be the most common cause of HIV infection.

The study was led by Jurgen Rehm, director of social and epidemiological research at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Ontario, Canada. It indicated that the more alcohol is consumed by the study participants, the more willing they became to engage in unsafe sex.

It was found that for each 0.1 milligrams per milliliter increase in blood alcohol level, there was a corresponding 5 percent increase in one’s likelihood to engage in unsafe sex.

Rehm made the following comment in a journal news release: “Drinking has a causal effect on the likelihood to engage in unsafe sex, and thus should be included as a major factor in preventive efforts for HIV… This result also helps explain why people at risk often show this behavior despite better knowledge: Alcohol is influencing their decision processes.”

The study is published in the January issue of the journal Addiction.

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