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21.08.2018 | Original Paper Open Access

Alcohol Availability, Marketing, and Sexual Health Risk Amongst Urban and Rural Youth in South Africa

AIDS and Behavior
Lebohang Letsela, Renay Weiner, Mitzy Gafos, Katherine Fritz


South Africa has high rates of HIV prevalence and incidence and very high binge drinking rates amongst youth. GIS mapping of alcohol outlets and participatory research methods were used to explore and understand youth’s perception of alcohol availability and marketing, and their associated risks for HIV and sexual violence. Twenty seven youth 18–24 years from an urban and rural area participated in the study. There was high density of alcohol outlets at both sites with 97% within 500 m radius to a school; 76% of outlets had alcohol advertising signage on the exterior. Youth reported that alcohol is easily accessible to them. Alcohol advertising and marketing are appealing and entice them to consume alcohol, including binge drinking. Young women reported exposure to unsafe and transactional sex, and sexual violence at alcohol outlets. Effective policies are needed to regulate alcohol availability and marketing to youth.

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