By Adeney Zo
UCLA Luskin Student Writer
Social Welfare assistant professor Ian Holloway has been selected as a 2015-16 Hellman Fellow for his research, which will examine contextual factors associated with alcohol and other substance use among gay and bisexual men attending nightlife settings.
Holloway’s research utilizes secondary data from Prevention Research Center member Brenda Miller’s study on correlates of violence in nightlife venues in San Francisco. Holloway’s project will pull data specifically for gay/bisexual and heterosexual men and compare differences in rates of alcohol and other substance use by sexual orientation. A secondary aim is to understand the individual, social, and contextual factors associated with substance use for gay and bisexual men attending nightlife settings.
“Studies examining alcohol and other substance use among gay and bisexual men often rely on self-reported data,” explains Holloway. “Our study uses verified biological markers of these behaviors, which will result in more accurate estimates of event-specific use. In addition, this work will provide insights on what factors can be targeted to reduce substance use and related risk behaviors in the settings in which those behaviors occur.”
Started in 2011, the UCLA Hellman Fellowship is a program established by the Hellman Family Foundation to support promising junior faculty members in their research efforts and career advancement.
Holloway’s previous work has centered on social networks, technology and HIV risk among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM). “Substance use and HIV risk are interconnected in this population,” says Holloway. “This project will further characterize patterns of risk behavior among MSM, with the goal of informing future intervention efforts.” Holloway hopes that the findings from this study will launch programs and inform policies to reduce health disparities among MSM.