The First International Conference on Alcohol and HIV in India was held at the Taj President Hotel, Colaba, Mumbai. The two day conference which attracted over 200 social science, and epidemiology researchers, NGO and policy representatives, was cosponsored by The Institute for Community Research, the International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Addiction, NIH, Washington, D.C. The conference was funded as a cooperative agreement with NIAAA.
Some highlights are as follows:
- NIAAA Alcohol and AIDS Program Coordinator’s discussion of new directions in alcohol and HIV research. Dr. Bryant noted the importance of new technology measuring in-the-moment use of alcohol in association with other behaviors, more research on the effects of alcohol on HIV disease progression, discovery of critical intervention points in alcohol consumption trajectories, and the challenge and promise of multilevel culturally relevant prevention interventions. Preventing HIV Infection From an Alcohol Perspective (pdf)
- Dr. Prabha Chandra, NIMHANS, Bangalore, referring to her research on psychiatric patients, reminded the audience of the critical importance of mental illness, mood disorders and sensation seeking in explaining the alcohol and HIV connection. Mental Health, Alcohol and Sexual Risk (pdf)
- The definitive statement by Dr. Niranjan Saggurti of Population Council-Delhi of the direct association between alcohol consumption and STIs in a Mumbai low income population.
- Papers by Drs. Gupta, IIPS and Saggurti which showed that alcohol and HIV risk are concentrated in mobile but not migrant workers. Mobile workers are those who travel shorter or longer distances from their homes to work. Migrant workers are those who migrate from rural to urban areas to establish urban residence and financial stability for themselves and their families. Migration, Mobility, Alcohol Consumption and Sexual Behavior among men in India (pdf)
- Papers by Madhabika Nayak, ARG, CA. and Marlene Berg, ICR, describing the ways in which men’s use of alcohol and violence intersect to affect the quality of life of married women.
- Dr. Tom Greenfield’s description of ways ARG working with Sangath-Goa met the challenge of obtaining accurate measures of alcohol consumption by working with local key informants, locally used types of alcohol, and local measures. Validating Measures of Alcohol Use Among Male Goan Drinkers (pdf)
- Dr. Jean Schensul’s paper on multiple pathways to sexual risk among married and unmarried men in Mumbai, using methodology that allowed for differentiation of risk pathways with and without the presence of alcohol as a causal contributor. The paper simultaneously challenges the gateway hypothesis (initial drinking leads to addiction), and the correlational studies that show one predominant pattern linking alcohol and sexual risk behavior. Qualitative Comparative Analysis for Critical Event Research and Prevention in India (pdf)