The Effects Of New Alcohol Restrictions On Sexual Behaviors Of Thai Underage Youth
The proposed study will explore the effects of a stringent new alcohol control bill in Thailand on HIV risk behaviors among high-risk, poly-drug-using youth. Thailand has one of the highest rates of alcohol consumption in the world, ranking 6th for spirits consumption. Youth (aged 15-20) are disproportionately represented among heavy drinkers. In response to these high levels of alcohol consumption and its associated harms, the Thai Government has recently prohibited all alcohol-related advertising and increased the legal drinking age in an alcohol control bill, enacted in December, 2006, to reduce alcohol availability to youth. Both quantitative and qualitative data collection measures will be utilized in examining the effects of this “natural experiment” on alcohol-related sexual risk among high-risk youth. The current study will occur in two phases each lasting one year: Phase I is qualitative in nature and Phase II is quantitative in nature. Phase I (Year 1) will include participant observations, key informant interviews with such individuals bar owners and law enforcement personnel, and in-depth interviews with 18-20 year olds who do and do not drink. Phase II (Year 2) will be comprised of a pre-law sample (n=943) of young high risk youth that we collected from our previously approved study of young methamphetamine (MA) users (IRB #H.34.01.09.14.B1) and a cross section study with 1000 18-20 year olds to examine the effects of a new, stringent alcohol control law on alcohol use, HIV/STIs and related risk behaviors among under-aged, (18-20 years old) in Chiang Mai, Thailand.