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Current Drug Abuse Reviews


ISSN (Print): 1874-4737
ISSN (Online): 1874-4745

The Association Between Alcohol Use and Sexual Risk Behaviors Among African American Women Across Three Developmental Periods: A Review

Author(s): Jessica M. Sales, Jennifer L. Brown, Aaron T. Vissman and Ralph J. DiClemente

Volume 5 , Issue 2 , 2012

Page: [117 - 128] Pages: 12

DOI: 10.2174/1874473711205020117

Price: $58


Background: African American women experience increased rates of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. The use of alcohol may increase sexual risk behaviors among this population.

Purpose: This paper provides a review and critique of the literature examining the association between alcohol use and sexual risk behaviors among African American females including a: (a) synthesis of research findings from adolescent, college-aged/early adulthood, and adult samples; (b) methodological critique of the literature; and (c) guidance for future research.

Methods: We reviewed 32 studies examining the association between alcohol use and sexual risk behaviors among African American females across developmental periods.

Results: Similar to previous association studies, results suggest that increased use of alcohol is associated with increased sexual risk practices among African American females. Further, even non-abuse levels of drinking among African American females, at all ages, were related to increased sexual risk-taking.

Conclusions: Future studies should seek to recruit samples that more fully reflect the diversity of African American women’s experiences across the lifespan. Given the association between alcohol use and/or abuse and the prevalence of STI/HIV-associated risk behaviors and adverse biological outcomes (i.e., STIs, including HIV) among African American females across the lifespan, there is a clear need to develop and evaluate prevention research efforts tailored for this subgroup.

Keywords: Alcohol, alcohol use, African American females, condom use, sexual risk behavior, dieases, association, age, race, gender

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