Addressing alcohol as a structural driver of HIV

This project addresses alcohol as a structural driver of HIV risk by intervening in alcohol’s ubiquitous availability in impoverished urban areas. It is led by Katherine Fritz at the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) in Washington DC and is funded by USAID

Working with local partners in Namibia, the intervention mobilises communities to organise awareness-raising and risk-reduction activities, such as community policing patrols. It also offers training to unlicensed bar owners and staff so that their venues are less conducive to hazardous drinking, violence and sexual risk. 

STRIVE is supporting an economic component to investigate the feasibility of creating alternative livelihoods for women selling alcohol from their homes.


The intervention builds on a two-year pilot study to address hazardous alcohol use in a low- income, peri-urban neighbourhood of Windhoek. The pilot revealed the need to address economic issues and help women selling alcohol from their homes transition to alternative forms of income.

Research Questions

  • What are the pathways linking alcohol use, intimate partner violence (IPV) and sexual risk behaviour among members of low-income urban communities?

How effective are participatory, community-facilitated interventions at:

  • Reducing the availability of alcohol in low-income urban communities?
  • Reducing levels of harmful drinking, IPV and sexual risk behaviour among individuals?
  • Raising awareness of linkages between alcohol use, IPV and sexual risk?
  • Changing social norms around heavy alcohol use, IPV and sexual risk?


Multi-variate analysis of existing data collected from a pre-post quantitative design with cross-sectional representative samples of 500 bar patrons at baseline and end line;

Qualitative focus group discussions and interviews.