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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2015

HIV and alcohol knowledge, self-perceived risk for HIV, and risky sexual behavior among young HIV-negative men identified as harmful or hazardous drinkers in Katutura, Namibia

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Amee Schwitters, Jennifer Sabatier, Puja Seth, Mary Glenshaw, Dietrich Remmert, Sonal Pathak, Naomi Bock
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

AS: led manuscript writing and assisted with data analysis; JS: led data analysis and made contributions to the manuscript; PS: assisted with study design and made contributions to the manuscript; MG: conceived the study and assisted with study design and made contributions to the manuscript; DR: assisted with study implementation and design and made contributions to the manuscript; SP: led data cleaning and data coordination and made contributions to the manuscript; NB: conceived the study and assisted with study design and made contributions to the manuscript. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.



Namibia’s HIV prevalence is 13.3 %. Alcohol is associated with sexual risk-taking, leading to increased HIV risk. Baseline sexual behaviors, HIV and alcohol knowledge, and self-perceived HIV risk were examined among men reporting high-risk drinking in Katutura, Namibia.


HIV negative men, ≥ 18 years, were screened for harmful or hazardous levels of drinking and >1 recent sex partner prior to randomization into control or intervention arm. SAS 9.3 and R 3.01 were used for descriptive baseline cohort analyses.


A total of 501 participants who met criteria were included in analysis (mean Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test [AUDIT] =12.4). HIV and alcohol knowledge were high with the majority (>85 and 89.8–98 %, respectively) of respondents correctly answering assessment questions. Despite high knowledge levels, 66.7 % of men felt they were at some or high risk of HIV acquisition. Among those respondents, 56.5 % stated often wanting to have sex after drinking and 40.3 % stated sex was better when drunk. Among respondents with non-steady partners [n = 188], 44.1 % of last sexual encounters occurred while the participant was drunk and condoms were not used 32.5 % of those times. Among persons who were not drunk condoms were not used 13.3 % of those times.


Sex with casual partners was high. Inconsistent condom use and alcohol use before sex were frequently reported. Increased emphasis on alcohol risk-reduction strategies, including drinking due to peer pressure and unsafe sexual behaviors, is needed.
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