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The harmful use of alcohol has long been recognised as a major contributor to mortality and morbidity in many parts of the globe, and in various parts of Sub-Saharan Africa in particular. During the past decade, numerous studies have pointed to alcohol’s potential role in sexual risk behaviours and HIV infection. Consequently, there is an urgent need for the identification, development and implementation of efficacious and effective HIV prevention interventions to reduce levels of sexual risk behaviour that are associated with alcohol use. A systematic literature review was conducted to locate and synthesize peer-reviewed, published and unpublished studies addressing the effectiveness of HIV prevention interventions that have been conducted among alcohol-users in Africa. Eight published studies were found, comprising school, community, STI clinic, and bar-based interventions. The studies provided some evidence for the effectiveness of the interventions within those settings, but were limited by methodological issues, including the intervention designs (lack of control groups), short follow-up periods, and the use of self-report measures of sexual risk behaviour outcomes. The results have implications for policies and programmes, and for further research on interventions to reduce sexual risk behaviour among alcohol users in South Africa.
Keywords: alcohol, harmful use, sexual risk behaviours, South Africa