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Hazardous drinking and HIV‐risk‐related behavior among male clients of female sex workers in Tijuana, Mexico

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Background and objectives

Male clients of female sex workers (FSWs) are at high risk for HIV. Whereas the HIV risks of alcohol use are well understood, less is known about hazardous alcohol use among male clients of FSWs, particularly in Mexico. We sought to identify risk factors for hazardous alcohol use and test associations between hazardous alcohol use and HIV risk behavior among male clients in Tijuana.


Male clients of FSWs in Tijuana (n = 400) completed a quantitative interview in 2008. The AUDIT was used to characterize hazardous alcohol use. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine independent associations of demographic and HIV risk variables with hazardous alcohol use (vs. non-hazardous).


Forty percent of our sample met criteria for hazardous alcohol use. Variables independently associated with hazardous drinking were reporting any sexually transmitted infection (STI), having sex with a FSW while under the influence of alcohol, being younger than 36 years of age, living in Tijuana, and ever having been jailed. Hazardous drinkers were less likely ever to have been deported or to have shared injection drugs.

Discussion and conclusions

Hazardous alcohol use is associated with HIV risk, including engaging in sex with FSWs while intoxicated and having an STI among male clients of FSWs in Tijuana.

Scientific significance

We systematically described patterns and correlates of hazardous alcohol use among male clients of FSWs in Tijuana, Mexico. The results suggest that HIV/STI risk reduction interventions must target hazardous alcohol users, and be tailored to address alcohol use.

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