Health, Behavior & Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Ecological momentary assessment of alcohol use and sexual behaviors among men who have sex with men in Baltimore, MD
The highest rates of HIV infection in the United States are among African American men who have sex with men (MSM). Alcohol use can increase the risk of HIV infection by promoting risky sexual behaviors. However, the relationship between alcohol use and risky sexual behaviors among MSM was not uniformly supported by previous studies. One of the explanations for such discrepancies is that the effects of alcohol use on sexual risk may vary according to the social and physical context in which alcohol use and sex took place. In addition, retrospective self-report data of highly sensitive information such as drinking and sex can impede the advancement of knowledge regarding HIV risks among highly stigmatized populations. The primary goal of this project is to develop an appropriate ecological momentary assessment (EMA) protocol and to assess real-time and daily alcohol use and sexual activity among African American MSM in Baltimore. The specific aims of this proposed study are (1) to assess the feasibility of using smartphones to collect EMA data of alcohol use and sexual behaviors among MSM in Baltimore, (2) to describe real-time and daily social and physical environment of alcohol use and sex, and (3) to determine modifiable risk factors of alcohol use that can predict risky sexual behaviors. Results of the study will provide preliminary data for subsequent NIH grant proposals to develop novel culturally-appropriate HIV interventions which can address social and contextual factors of sexual behaviors under the influence of alcohol among MSM in the United States.