Feasibility and acceptability of a bar-based sexual risk reduction intervention for bar patrons in Tshwane, South Africa.
Morojele, Neo K
Kekwaletswe, Connie T
Parry, Charles D H
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Alcohol consumption is a recognised risk factor for HIV infection. Alcohol serving establishments have been identified as appropriate venues in which to deliver HIV prevention interventions. This paper describes experiences and lessons learnt from implementing a combined HIV prevention intervention in bar settings in one city- and one township-based bar in Tshwane, South Africa. The intervention consisted of peer-led and brief intervention counselling sub-components. Thirty-nine bar patrons were recruited and trained, and delivered HIV and alcohol risk reduction activities to their peers as peer interventionists. At the same time, nine counsellors received training and visited the bars weekly to provide brief motivational interviewing counselling, advice, and referrals to the patrons of the bars. A responsible server sub-component that had also been planned was not delivered as it was not feasible to train the staff in the two participating bars. Over the eight-month period the counsellors were approached by and provided advice and counselling for alcohol and sexual risk-related problems to 111 bar patrons. The peer interventionists reported 1323 risk reduction interactions with their fellow bar patrons during the same period. The intervention was overall well received and suggests that bar patrons and servers can accept a myriad of intervention activities to reduce sexual risk behaviour within their drinking settings. However, HIV- and AIDS-related stigma hindered participation in certain intervention activities in some instances. The buy-in that we received from the relevant stakeholders (i.e. bar owners/managers and patrons, and the community at large) was an important contributor to the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention.