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Understanding alcohol risk, sexual risk, and intimate partner violence risk among university students

This new project will address a critical issue affecting the health of university students in South Africa: alcohol-related sexual risk.  Statistics suggest that the most at-risk population in South Africa are those between the ages of 18-29. In rural provinces like Limpopo in South Africa, traditional gender roles typically expect girls and women to not have sex and to not drink, but these traditions are likely more relaxed in the university setting.  

In the substudy of women only, we will assess the beliefs and attitudes of university women about intimate partner violence. The study will use mixed methods including qualitative interviews, quantitative measures such as surveys and questionnaires to understand the experiences of alcohol risk and sex risk and their combination from the perspectives of both sexes. 

These data will generate new information on the epidemiology of alcohol risks, sexual risks, risk for alcohol-exposed pregnancy, and related issues among an understudied population of South Africans.  The ultimate goal is to identify the need for prevention and intervention to reduce the risks of alcohol-related sexual risks broadly in the population, and to develop culturally-tailored preventive interventions suitable for these needs.