We sought to 1) describe the settings or groups of settings where men who have sex with men (MSM) consume alcohol in 16 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSA); and 2) investigate whether certain drinking settings or groups of settings are associated with higher levels of alcohol consumption, problem drinking, and sexual risk behavior. Latent class analysis was used to develop our measure of drinking settings. The final latent class model consisted of four distinct classes which captured the typical settings where MSM consumed alcohol: "home" "social," "bar/social," and "general" drinkers (i.e., drinks in all settings). Regression models showed that "general" drinkers were more likely than "social" drinkers to engage in frequent heavy drinking. Compared to ‘social’ drinkers, general drinkers were also more likely to engage in unprotected anal intercourse (UAIMP) and UAIMP with men met in bars and other venues (e.g., private parties, bath houses) while intoxicated. Assessment of drinking settings may be a means of identifying MSM who are at greater risk for frequent, heavy drinking and related sexual risk behavior.
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