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AIDS Care. 2017 Feb;29(2):209-213. Epub 2016 Jul 19.

"In this thing I have everything I need": perceived acceptability of a brief alcohol-focused intervention for people living with HIV.

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a Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Research Unit , South African Medical Research Council , Tygerberg , South Africa.
b Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health , University of Cape Town , Cape Town , South Africa.
c Alan J Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health , University of Cape Town , Cape Town , South Africa.
d School of Public Health , University of the Witwatersrand , Witwatersrand , South Africa.
e School of Public Health and Family Medicine , University of Cape Town , Cape Town , South Africa.
f Social and Epidemiological Research Department , Centre for Addiction and Mental Health , Toronto , ON , Canada.
g Dalla Lana School of Public Health , University of Toronto , Toronto , ON , Canada.
h Department of Psychiatry , Stellenbosch University , Stellenbosch , South Africa.


Although hazardous/harmful alcohol use impacts response to HIV treatment, there have been few attempts to deliver alcohol-reduction interventions within South African HIV treatment services. As a first step towards implementing alcohol-focused interventions in these settings, we explored patients' views of the acceptability of a brief motivational interviewing and problem-solving intervention. In-depth interviews were conducted with 11 patients recruited from three HIV treatment sites in Tshwane, South Africa, who had completed the intervention. Participants noted that the intervention was acceptable and appropriate. As a result of the intervention, participants reported less use of alcohol as a coping mechanism. They described greater use of problem-focused and emotional coping strategies for dealing with mutable and immutable problems, respectively. Their only recommendation for improving the intervention was the addition of booster sessions. Findings suggest that this intervention is acceptable to patients receiving HIV treatment and is perceived to be helpful for reducing their use of alcohol.


HIV; Motivational interviewing; South Africa; alcohol; coping; problem-solving therapy

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