Randomized community-level HIV prevention intervention trial for men who drink in South African alcohol-serving venues

Eur J Public Health. 2014 Oct;24(5):833-9. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckt172. Epub 2013 Nov 18.


Background: South African alcohol-serving establishments (i.e., shebeens) offer unique opportunities to reduce HIV risks among men who drink.

Purpose: To test an individual- and a social structural-level HIV prevention intervention for men who drink in shebeens.

Methods: Twelve matched pairs of township neighbourhoods were randomized to receive either (i) an HIV prevention intervention (guided by Social Action Theory) to reduce sexual risk and increase risk reduction communication in social networks, or (ii) an attention-matched control intervention that focused on the prevention of relationship violence. At the individual level, the interventions delivered skills building workshops focused on sexual risk reduction. At the social structural level, the intervention aimed to increase conversations about safer sex among men in the shebeens, distributed small media and implemented community educational events. Individual-level outcomes were assessed by following the workshop cohorts for 1 year (N = 984), and community-level outcomes were examined through cross-sectional community surveys conducted for 1 year in the shebeens (N = 9,678).

Results: Men in the HIV prevention workshops demonstrated greater condom use, more HIV prevention-oriented conversations and greater perceptions of safer sex norms than men in the comparison workshops. Changes at the community level demonstrated significant differences in condom use, although the pattern was not consistent over time.

Conclusions: Multi-level interventions that target men who drink in South African shebeens may help reduce risks for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Commerce
  • Community Health Services / methods*
  • Comorbidity
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Health Education / statistics & numerical data
  • Homosexuality, Male / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Program Evaluation / methods*
  • Program Evaluation / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data
  • South Africa / epidemiology