sexual behavior and substance use (primarily drinking); and a safer sex intervention at a substance abuse agency in San Francisco.

Social-Structural Research

None of NIAAA AIDS research grants addressed social-structural factors until 1992, when two grants investigating social influences on risk behaviors were added to the institute's portfolio. One project uses a combined qualitative-quantitative methodology to investigate how the situational context (the place and circumstances under which one drinks) interacts with the use of alcohol and sexual behavior among adolescents. Another study is collecting information on how social norms, personal beliefs, and the context of drinking influence HIV risk behaviors among African American adolescents.


As mentioned above, NIAAA's AIDS research program is quite small, especially relative to NIDA and NIMH. Moreover, NIAAA periodically has varied its coding scheme so that certain grants were considered AIDS-related in some years and not in others. These factors significantly impeded the committee's ability to establish the integrity of the AIDS grant data from NIAAA. Nevertheless, some general statements can be made.

From the beginning of NIAAA's AIDS efforts in 1987, the majority of NIAAA extramural research grants and dollars have been traditional investigator-initiated grants (R01s). In 1987, all AIDS-related extramural grants at NIAAA were biomedical (Figure 6.8). In most cases, these projects examined the effects of alcohol on the immune system. In 1988, NIAAA's portfolio grew to include several grants investigating alcohol use and AIDS risk behaviors. These grants were either single-coded by the committee as epidemiological or multi-coded as epidemiological and psychosocial. However, most of the research grants in 1988 continued to be biomedical. By 1990, 70 percent of NIAAA's research grants had a biomedical component, approximately one-third had a psychosocial component, and 20 percent had an epidemiological component. None of NIAAA's research grants included a social-structural perspective until 1992, as mentioned above. By 1992, the extramural AIDS research portfolio had shifted from a biomedical research focus to a more balanced portfolio including biomedical, psychosocial, and epidemiological research.

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