Impact case study: Youth voices in alcohol policy processes in South Africa

Alcohol misuse remains a major problem amongst South African youth and contributes to sexual health risks including HIV and sexual assault. Action at community and structural level is needed to ensure that youth live in environments which protect them from early and excessive alcohol consumption. 

Evidence brief: Youth, alcohol use and HIV in Tanzania

Alcohol is an important risk factor for HIV worldwide. In 2016, 73% of new HIV infections among adolescents occurred in Africa - despite a decline in other populations - the prevalence among youth is increasing. Studies show that alcohol use influences behaviours such as multiple partnerships, unsafe sex and transactional sex that in turn increase the risk of contracting HIV. Efforts to address alcohol consumption in this region have mainly taken the form of interventions to reduce individual alcohol consumption, but these have not, in general proved effective.

Transactional sex and incident HIV infection in a cohort of young women from rural South Africa enrolled in HPTN 068

, ; Read the full paper online

In sub-Saharan Africa, young women who engage in transactional sex (the exchange of sex for money or gifts) with a male partner show an elevated risk of prevalent HIV infection. This paper analyses longitudinal data to estimate the association between transactional sex and HIV incidence. The researchers used data from a cohort of 2,362 HIV negative young women (aged 13–20) enrolled in a randomized controlled trial in rural, South Africa who were followed for up to 4 visits over 6 years.

Technical brief: Transactional sex and HIV risk

An accessible synthesis and key messages of STRIVE learning about transactional sex.

How does partner violence affect HIV treatment during pregnancy? - Abigail Hatcher

While intimate partner violence has long been understood as a factor driving HIV risk, only recently has research and policy begun to recognise its influence in the lives of women already living with HIV. Partner violence may be particularly challenging during pregnancy, and skipping HIV medicine at this time can be especially risky for the health of the woman and her infant. This Learning Lab highlights recent work in measuring and addressing partner violence within the cascade of prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT).

‘It’s because I like things… it’s a status and he buys me airtime’: exploring the role of transactional sex in young women’s consumption patterns in rural South Africa (secondary findings from HPTN 068)

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‘Transactional sex’, defined as a non-marital, non-commercial sexual relationship in which money or material goods are exchanged for sex, is associated with young women’s increased vulnerability to HIV infection. Existing research illustrates that the motivations for transactional sex are complex. The fulfilment of psycho-social needs such as the need to belong to a peer group are important factors underlying young women’s desires to obtain certain consumption items and thus engage in transactional sex.

Key findings

Sugar, tobacco, and alcohol taxes to achieve the SDGs

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The Sugar, Tobacco and Alcohol Taxes (STAX) Group have published a new Lancet Comment  calling for a more integrated approach and action on sugar, tobacco and alcohol taxes to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Key messages

Gender norms and poverty versus educational aspirations and individual resilience: What is the contribution of Samata?

Join us for a free webinar on Tuesday 19 June, 11am BST.

Join us for a free webinar on Tuesday 19 June, 11am BST.

How does partner violence affect HIV treatment during pregnancy?

Join us for a free webinar on Tuesday 29 May, 1pm BST.

Join us for a free webinar on Tuesday 29 May, 1pm BST.

A cluster randomized controlled trial to assess the impact on intimate partner violence of a 10-session participatory gender training curriculum delivered to women taking part in a group-based microfinance loan scheme in Tanzania (MAISHA CRT01)

, ; Read the study protocol online

Worldwide, almost one third (30%) of women who have been in a relationship have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner. Given the considerable negative impacts of intimate partner violence (IPV) on women’s physical health and well-being, there is an urgent need for rigorous evidence on violence prevention interventions.