Social and Structural HIV Prevention in Alcohol-Serving Establishments

September 2010
Alcohol Research & Health;2010, Vol. 33 Issue 3, p184
Academic Journal
Alcohol use is associated with risks for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV/AIDS. People meet new sex partners at bars and other places where alcohol is served, and drinking venues facilitate STI transmission through sexual relationships within closely knit sexual networks. This paper reviews HIV prevention interventions conducted in bars, taverns, and informal drinking venues. Interventions designed to reduce HIV risk by altering the social interactions within drinking environments have demonstrated mixed results. Specifically, venue-based social influence models have reduced community-level risk in U.S. gay bars, but these effects have not generalized to gay bars elsewhere or to other populations. Few interventions have sought to alter the structural and physical environments of drinking places for HIV prevention. Uncontrolled program evaluations have reported promising approaches to bar-based structural interventions with gay men and female sex workers. Finally, a small number of studies have examined multilevel approaches that simultaneously intervene at both social and structural levels with encouraging results. Multilevel interventions that take environmental factors into account are needed to guide future HIV prevention efforts delivered within alcohol-serving establishments.


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