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Alcohol use in fishing communities and men's willingness to participate in an alcohol, violence and HIV risk reduction intervention: qualitative findings from Rakai, Uganda.


Alcohol use, intimate partner violence (IPV) and HIV infection are associated, but few programmes and interventions have addressed their synergistic relationship or been evaluated for effectiveness and acceptability. This is a critical gap in populations with high rates of alcohol use, HIV and IPV, such as Uganda's fishing communities. This study examined drinking norms, barriers and facilitators to engagement in a risk reduction programme, and ideas for tailoring. Results showed that alcohol use is common in fishing villages. While men and women drink, gendered notions of femininity deem alcohol largely unacceptable for women. Plastic sachets of liquor were the most common alcoholic drink. Participants did not understand the definition of 'hazardous drinking', but recognised connections between drinking, violence and sexual risk-taking. The idea of an alcohol, IPV and HIV risk reduction intervention was supported, but barriers need to be addressed, including how best to help those uninterested in reducing their drinking, addressing normalisation of drinking and how best to inform those who truly need intervention. Intervention to people living with HIV around the time of diagnosis and treatment may be warranted. Study findings highlight the potential to integrate alcohol and IPV reduction programmes into an HIV service provision.

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