Archives of sexual behavior 2017 04 20() doi 10.1007/s10508-017-0942-4
People living with HIV in poverty have limited tangible and mental resources coupled with competing demands for these resources. Competing demands require individuals to make choices that may be beneficial to them in the short term but not in the long term. Past research has shown that food insecurity is related to sexual risk behaviors among people living with HIV. Individuals who are food insecure may sell sex in order to obtain food or lack of food may lead to a depletion of mental resources to negotiate safe sex. Substance use may also create additional constraints on these already limited resources. The current study tested the relation between food insecurity and day-level sexual risk behavior and the possible mediating role that alcohol/substance use may play. Men and women living with HIV were enrolled in a 28-day prospective study between October 2012 and April 2014 in which they completed daily text message surveys regarding their sex behaviors and substance/alcohol use in the context of sex. A total of 796 participants reported sex on 3894 days. On days in which sex occurred, baseline food insecurity was negatively associated with daily condom use. There was also a significant effect of substance use in the context of sex on the rates of change in condom use over time, and this interaction between substance use and time was a partial mediator of the relation between food insecurity and condom use. Gender did not moderate this mediation. Situation-specific alcohol and drug use should be integrated into interventions that target food insecurity and HIV prevention.