Background: Alcohol use is related to sexual risk behavior among young African-American women. Few effective interventions address alcohol-related sexual risk among this population, although promising trials are underway. Little is known about the comparability of HIV/sexually transmitted infection (STI) risk among different samples of young alcohol-using African American women and, thus, how applicable interventions developed and tested in one geographic site might be for use in different geographic sites. The objective was to examine sexual risk behaviors among young alcohol-using African American women in two cities to determine if an HIV/STI prevention intervention developed and implemented at one site (i.e., Atlanta) is appropriate for another geographical site (i.e., Washington, DC).
Methods: African American females 18-24 years were enrolled in community-based studies conducted in Atlanta, GA, (n=428) and Washington, DC (n=101). Chi square and t-tests compared baseline characteristics between samples.
Results: Although a greater proportion of the Atlanta sample reported consuming >1 alcoholic drink/month (81% vs. 60%, p<0.001), ~75% of both samples reported recently using alcohol or drugs before sex (p=0.578), and 19% and 24% of Atlanta and DC samples, respectively, reported using alcohol or drugs before sex at least most of the time (p=0.229). Mean number of sexual partners in the past 3 months was 2.9 in Atlanta and 1.8 in DC (p=0.261). However, mean percent condom use was <50% in both samples. Further, 31% of the Atlanta sample and 21% of the DC sample reported never using condoms during sex in the past 3 months (p=0.054).
Conclusions: The results suggest high levels of HIV/STI risk among young alcohol-using African American women in two different US cities and reiterate a need for effective interventions to reduce sexual risk among this population. The findings suggest that effective interventions developed and implemented in Atlanta may be applicable for use in DC.