Determinants of hazardous drinking among Black South African men who have sex with men

BACKGROUND: There is a known heavy burden of hazardous drinking and its associated health risks among black South African MSM; however, no study to date has identified risk factors for hazardous drinking among this nor any other African MSM population.

METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 480 black South African MSM recruited using respondent-driven sampling. All analyses were adjusted using an RDS II estimator. Multivariable logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between demographic characteristics, psychosocial factors, behavioral attributes and hazardous drinking.

RESULTS: More than half of the men (62%, 95%CI=56%-68%) screened positive as hazardous drinkers. In multivariable analyses, living in a township (versus the city of Pretoria) (aOR=1.9, 95%CI=1.2-3.1, p<.01), more gender dysphoria (aOR=1.4, 95%CI=1.0-1.8, p=.03), having ever received money or other incentives in return for sex (aOR=2.4, 95%CI=1.3-4.3, p<.01), having been sexually abused as a child (aOR=2.6, 95%CI=1.1-6.4, p=.03), having anxiety (aOR=5.4, 95%CI=1.2-24.3, p=.03), and social network drinking behavior (aOR=5.4, 95%CI=1.2-24.3, p=.03) were positively associated with hazardous drinking. Being sexually attracted only to men (aOR=0.3, 95%CI=0.1-0.8, p=.01) was negatively associated with hazardous drinking.

DISCUSSION: Hazardous drinking is highly prevalent among black South African MSM. Multiple indicators of social vulnerability were identified as independent determinants of hazardous drinking. These findings are of heightened concern because these health problems often work synergistically to increase risk of HIV infection and should be taken into consideration by efforts aimed at reducing hazardous drinking among this critical population.

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Full citation:
Knox J, Reddy V, Lane T, Lovasi G, Hasin D, Sandfort T (2017).
Determinants of hazardous drinking among Black South African men who have sex with men
Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 180, 14-21. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2017.07.036. PMCID: PMC5648600.