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Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Research Unit


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Current Projects 

List of core projects

Project title

Short description

Email address of key investigator

Drugs & HIV (Prevention) Phase IV

A rapid assessment was undertaken to assess HIV risk behaviour (drug use and sexual behaviour) among drug-using men who have sex with men, commercial sex workers, injecting drug users and non-injecting drug users (2005-7). The second part of the project comprises facilitating the delivery of various responses by sub-partners directed towards these vulnerable drug using populations and an evaluation of their effectiveness.

Methamphetamine use among adolescents

To assess the prevalence and nature of methamphetamine use among school-going adolescents in a defined geographical area in Cape Town, and to assess sexual risk behaviour and mental health among methamphetamine users.

SA Com. Epi Network on Drug Use (SACENDU)

This project is an ongoing alcohol/drug use trends monitoring project, focussing on data collected from drug treatment centres on presenting patients. Data are now collected six-monthly in all nine provinces in South Africa.

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)

This project aims to characterise women at increased risk for an alcohol-exposed pregnancy and develop sustainable preventive interventions at community level, in South Africa. The project is focused on urban (Tshwane, Gauteng Province) and rural (West Coast, Western Cape Province) communities.

Bar based HIV intervention

The overall aim of the project is to design, implement, and evaluate a behavioural HIV prevention intervention to reduce sexual risk behaviour associated with alcohol use in bars, taverns and shebeens in Tshwane.

Access to treatment

A mixed methods study that combines qualitative methods with a case-control study to examine factors associated with access to substance abuse treatment in the Cape Town Metropole for substance abusers from historically disadvantaged communities.

Alcohol and HIV (Phases 1& 2)

To better determine whether and under what circumstances alcohol is causal for HIV and to quantify the proportion of HIV infections attributable to alcohol.

Bar based HIV intervention

The overall aim of the project is to design, implement, and evaluate a behavioural HIV prevention intervention to reduce sexual risk behaviour associated with alcohol use in bars, taverns and shebeens in Tshwane. The study is being funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Surveillance system for social workers

Development of a computerised surveillance system of substance abuse cases and case management in district social work offices and other social work agencies for the Provincial Department of Social Development and Poverty Alleviation.

FAS prevention

Project to assess the efficacy of a comprehensive, FAS prevention model using a multiple community, longitudinal, comparative design

Drugs & pregnancy

The aim of the project is to understand substance using practices among pregnant women attending MOUs in Cape Town and the association between substance use, HIV and other risk behaviour among these pregnant women. It further aims to test whether a self-report screen can adequately identify substance using pregnant women, and finally, to assess whether brief intervention is effective in reducing or stopping use of substances and associated HIV risk behaviour among pregnant women.

Drugs and HIV patients The aim of the project is to determine the relationship between substance use practices on the health status and health behaviour of patients attending HIV clinics in the Cape Metropole.
Service Quality Metrics The aim of the project is to design and conduct a consumer survey of the quality and performance of substance abuse treatment services.  This survey will be linked to administrative record data on treatment completion and service outcomes.  This project will be piloted in facilities in KZN, Gauteng and the Western Cape.
Alcohol-ART Adherence The aim of this project is to address the link between alcohol and HIV through investigating the role played by alcohol in non-adherence to ART. Long-term goal and primary objective of the study is to enhance health care providers’ capacity to reduce alcohol use-related non-adherence to ART.
Workplace Intervention This project aims to test the effectiveness of an evidence-based workplace substance abuse and substance-related HIV prevention programme within the service and manufacturing industries in Cape Town, South Africa.
Venue-based intervention for couples A randomised controlled trial of an intervention to address substance use, sexual risk and gender based violence among substance abusing couples in the Western Cape. These interventions will occur in and around drinking venues.
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Last updated:
6 June, 2014
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