South Africa faces a formidable threat to public health attributable to alcohol use and misuse. The use of alcohol is associated with a range of adverse chronic health and economic consequences. Although the ban on alcohol advertising has been on the South African government’s agenda for more than five years, the past two years has seen increased public dialogue between the South African government, academic, civil society organisations and the alcohol and advertising industries on a proposed ban on alcohol advertising in South Africa.
" Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." George Santayana I was surprised that Virginia Berridge didn't mention the above quote in her impressive book, Demons, because it succinctly covers the key message. Berridge explores the history of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs, particularly opioids but she also covers to some extent
HIV behavioural research and prevention efforts targeted at South African women has focused on increasing gender equality and reducing gender-based violence. We examined whether alcohol use and mental health problems (depression and posttraumatic stress) explained the link between experiencing violence and HIV in South African women. It was shown that alcohol use, but not depression or posttraumatic stress, explained the link between violence and unprotected sex. Women who have ever experienced physical or sexual abuse were more likely to report drinking more alcohol, and drinking more was predictive of more unprotected sex. Thus, it is important to not only address gender-based violence, it is necessary to also address subsequent alcohol use among women in South Africa.
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The new issue of the SACEMA Quarterly is out and contains articles on e.g. TB transmission in hyperendemic regions and reducing binge drinking for HIV prevention.
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