Carrasco, M.A., Esser, M.B., Sparks, A., and Kaufman, M.R. AIDS and Behavior (October 2015), E-publication ahead of print.
The authors reviewed 19 peer-reviewed studies on HIV-alcohol risk reduction interventions in sub-Saharan Africa and summarized their findings and characteristics. All the interventions (implemented in Angola, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) promoted individual behavior change using strategies such as peer education, health trainings and workshops, and health education videos. The authors reported that 12 of the 16 interventions that reported on sexual risk behavior outcomes (condom use) found significant effects, while four interventions found no significant effects. While studies targeting youth in schools had limited efficacy, those targeting women who use drugs, sex workers, and clients at clinics for testing and diagnosis were more efficacious. These showed significant effects in reducing alcohol consumption or changing HIV-alcohol or sexual risk behaviors. Studies targeting drinking venue patrons were efficacious when delivered as a short intervention in a community setting, but not when delivered in these venues by peers. Studies targeting soldiers showed efficacy when implemented at the community level, but not at military bases. The authors concluded that community-based interventions, when embedded into ongoing prevention and treatment programs of various kinds, may be effective in addressing HIV-alcohol risk behaviors in the short term.