HIV Risks Associated with Patronizing Alcohol Serving Establishments in South African Townships, Cape Town
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Alcohol use has been closely linked with HIV risk behaviors in South Africa. The places where people drink are often the same settings in which they meet new sex partners and may contribute independently to sexual risk. This current study examines the independent effects of patronizing alcohol serving establishments (shebeens) and alcohol use in predicting HIV risk behaviors. Men (n = 981) and women (n = 492) were recruited from inside shebeens and surrounding areas proximal to shebeens in eight separate neighborhoods in a Township in Cape Town, South Africa. Anonymous community surveys measured demographic characteristics, alcohol use, shebeen attendance, and sexual risk behaviors. Comparisons of 1210 (82 %) participants who patronized shebeens in the past month with 263 (18 %) participants who did not patronize shebeens demonstrated higher rates of alcohol use frequency and quantity, more sexual partners, and higher rates of vaginal intercourse without condoms for the patrons. Multiple linear regression analysis found shebeen attendance in the past month predicted greater sexual risk for HIV beyond demographic characteristics and alcohol use. Social influences and environmental factors in shebeens could be contributing to sexual risk behavior independently of alcohol consumption. Further research is needed to understand the environmental factors of shebeens that promote and influence HIV risk behaviors.
KeywordsSouth Africa HIV Alcohol use Sexual risk behavior Drinking venues
The authors would like to acknowledge the contributions and support of Lisa Eaton, Eileen Pitpitan, Redwaan Vermaak, Thiyane Duda, Siphokazi Mlandu, Khunjulwa Mlobeli, Mthetheleli Tekana, Mfundo Mrwebi, Lukhanyiso Mdunyelwa, Themalethu Siko, Yolande Shean, Michelle Reddy, Gino Smith, and Regina Mlobeli.
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