Factors associated with problem drinking among women employed in food and recreational facilities in northern Tanzania

Aika S. Mongi, Kathy Baisley, Trong Thanh-Hoang Ao, Joseph Chilongani, Aura Aguirre-Andreasen, Suzanna C. Francis, John Shao, Richard Hayes, Saidi Kapiga PLoS ONE, 2013; PLoS ONE 8(12) 10.1371/journal.pone.0084447 Factors associated with problem drinking among women employed in food and recreational facilities in northern Tanzania

Data from two at-risk female groups suggest that reducing problem drinking in this population would lower the risk of HIV infection.

 Growing evidence shows that alcohol consumption, particularly binge drinking, is associated with increased risk of HIV infection. STRIVE researchers interviewed two groups of women aged 18 to 24 employed in small towns in northern Tanzania in order to determine factors associated with problem drinking in this population and context. The study:

  • conducted interviews to obtain information about alcohol use
  • applied CAGE and AUDIT screening scales and risk factors for HIV infection
  • collected samples to detect HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
  • characterised alcohol use, concordance and agreement of the scales
  • examined associations between characteristics of participants and problem drinking as defined by both scales using logistic regression.

 The authors find that among enrollees, 68% women reported ever drinking alcohol; of these 76% reported drinking alcohol in the past 12 months. The prevalence of problem drinking was 20% using CAGE and 13% using AUDIT. Women who were problem drinkers on either scale were more likely to report having more than one sexual partner and transactional sex in the past three months.

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