Youth Perspectives on Alcohol: Availability and marketing in South Africa, Tanzania and India

Alcohol use among young people exposes them to a variety of social, economic and public health hazards and is one of the drivers of the HIV epidemic in developing countries. This Learning Lab presents findings from a STRIVE multi-country study in South Africa, Tanzania and India which assessed how alcohol availability and promotion affect young people’s sexual health and safety.

The researchers highlight shared and unique findings from the three contexts including:

  • The density and location of alcohol selling outlets in relation to schools and colleges
  • Findings from photovoice documentation and discussions on youth exposure to alcohol promotion activities and marketing in their localities
  • The effects of alcohol use among the population
  • Implications of the findings for the design of structural interventions to address alcohol use among youth in similar settings
  • Implications of the findings for policy and regulation

Lebohang Letsela is a researcher with an MA in Research Psychology from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. She is currently employed as a monitoring and evaluation (M&E) specialist at Soul City Institute for Social Justice and has 

  • five years’ experience in conducting research and M&E activities in health and development, focused on HIV structural drivers, masculinities and health systems strengthening
  • published a paper in the Journal of Health Communication
  • participated in local, regional and international conferences on HIV/AIDS, public health, psychology and social and behaviour communications

Dr. Gerry Mshana is a senior research scientist at the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) in Mwanza, Tanzania. A medical anthropologist for over 18 years, he has conducted research on adolescent sexual and reproductive health, the socio-cultural aspects of HIV/AIDS, male circumcision and non-communicable diseases such as stroke, Parkinson’s Disease and epilepsy. His current research

  • uses innovative participatory research methods to explore the structural drivers of HIV among youth
  • investigates how macro factors such as advertisement, packaging and pricing influence alcohol use among youth
  • examines the interplay between social norms and gender based violence in urban Tanzania

Dr. Priti Prabhughate is a Senior Technical Specialist at the International Center for Research on Women’s (ICRW), Asia Regional Office, more than seven years’ experience in the fields of HIV/AIDS, sexuality, stigma and discrimination, gender-based violence and sexual health, with a special focus on working with sexual minority communities in India. As thematic lead on ICRW-ARO’s HIV-related research, she:

  • designs studies on HIV and parallel topics such as stigma and discrimination
  • provides technical support across teams
  • manages projects, develops tools, and supports data evaluation and analysis

Haika Osaki is a research scientist at the National Institute for Medical Research, Mwanza. She is

  • the study coordinator for the STRIVE Youth and Alcohol study in Tanzania
  • a social scientist with a background in Sociology and Public Health
  • interested in adolescent health and mental wellbeing

Related resources

Technical brief: Measuring alcohol-related HIV risk

Journal publication: The epidemiology of alcohol use and alcohol use disorders among young people in northern Tanzania

Journal publication: Systematic review and meta-analysis: prevalence of alcohol use among young people in eastern Africa

Resource page: Alcohol, young people and sexual health risk

News: Highlights from the Global Alcohol Policy Conference

Video: Public Health vs Alcohol: An interview with Savera Kalideen 

Learning Labs

Alcohol, young people and HIV risk in Tanzania – Gerry Mshana

Alcohol harm-prevention and policies – Dag Endal

Knowledge into action: Alliance building for alcohol policy change – Savera Kalideen 

Photovoice: Using participatory photography in research – Cathy Vaughan

Photovoice: Pushing the boundaries of participatory research – Gerry Mshana 


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