Gender-specific HIV and substance abuse prevention strategies for South African men: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus*, Mark Tomlinson, Andile Mayekiso, Jason Bantjes, Danielle M. Harris, Jacqueline Stewart, Robert E. Weiss

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Young men in South Africa face concurrent epidemics of HIV, drug and alcohol abuse, and unemployment. Standard HIV prevention programs, located in healthcare settings and/or using counseling models, fail to engage men. Soccer and vocational training are examined as contexts to deliver male-specific, HIV prevention programs. Methods: Young men (n=1200) are randomly assigned by neighborhood to one of three conditions: 1) soccer league (n=400; eight neighborhoods); 2) soccer league plus vocational training (n=400; eight neighborhoods); or 3) a control condition (n=400; eight neighborhoods). Soccer practices and games occur three times per week and vocational training is delivered by Silulo Ulutho Technologies and Zenzele Training and Development. At baseline, 6months, 12months, and 24months, the relative efficacy of these strategies to increase the number of significant outcomes (NSO) among 15 outcomes which occur (1) or not (0) are summed and compared using binomial logistic regressions. The summary primary outcome reflects recent HIV testing, substance abuse, employment, sexual risk, violence, arrests, and mental health status. Discussion: The failure of men to utilize HIV prevention programs highlights the need for gender-specific intervention strategies. However, men in groups can provoke and encourage greater risk-taking among themselves. The current protocol evaluates a male-specific strategy to influence men's risk for HIV, as well as to improve their ability to contribute to family income and daily routines. Both interventions are expected to significantly benefit men compared with the control condition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number417
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 03 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by: the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA; R01DA038675); the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA; R24AA022919); the National Institute of Mental Health through the Center for HIV Identification, Prevention and Treatment Services (CHIPTS; MH58107); the UCLA Center for AIDS Research (CFAR; 5P30AI028697); the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI; UL1TR000124); the William T. Grant Foundation (180039); and the National Research Foundation, South Africa (no reference number available). Contact information for the NIDA Program Officer (Aria Crump, ScD) can be found here: aboutnida/organization/divisions/division-epidemiology-services-prevention-research-despr/staff-listings. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not represent the official views of NIH.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Author(s).


  • Alcohol abuse
  • Drug abuse
  • Gender-specific interventions
  • HIV prevention for men
  • HIV prevention strategies
  • HIV testing
  • Men's HIV risk
  • Soccer
  • Social determinants of HIV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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