Few studies have used standardized alcohol use measures among men who have sex with men in China.
A cross-sectional study was conducted among MSM in Beijing. A computer-assisted self-administered questionnaire was used to collect demographics, risk behaviors the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). AUDIT uses a cutoff score of ≥8 while AUDIT C uses a score of ≥4 to classify respondents as problem drinkers. Both include a binge drinking measure.
A total of 500 participants were recruited using respondent-driven sampling. HIV and prevalence is estimated to be 6.1% (95% CI 3.7, 9.2). Almost half of MSM (42.1%, 95% CI 35.8, 49.0) never had a drink containing alcohol in the past year. 5.0% (95% CI 3.1, 7.0) and 8.8% (95% CI 6.1, 11.6) had AUDIT score ≥8 and AUDIT-C score ≥4, respectively. Binge drinking was at 11.8% (95% CI 7.9, 16.0). In multivariate models all measures were associated with alcohol during sex, while AUDIT was associated with high level of attitudes and perceptions on safe sex (AOR 0.9, 95% CI 0.9,1.0), AUDIT-C with being older (AOR 3.5, 95%CI 1.4, 8.8), and HIV status (AOR 2.2, 95% CI 1.4, 10.9), and binge drinking with number of male partners (AOR 2.0, 95% CI 1.0, 3.9) and ever having had an HIV test (AOR 1.0, 95%CI 0.9, 1.0). Compared to AUDIT ≥8, AUDIT-C ≥4 and binge drinking were more suitable in identifying HIV risks related to problem drinking.
Findings suggest AUDIT is appropriate for use among MSM in China and reinforces the need for incorporating problem drinking as part of approaches to prevent HIV infection among Chinese MSM.
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