Alcohol advertising encourages heavy drinking and puts people in danger of contracting HIV through risky sexual behaviour, said Savera Kalideen last week. She spoke on behalf of NGO Soul City, at the 6th South African Aids Conference in Durban.

In her presentation, Kalideen voiced her support for Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s call for a ban on drinks advertising. She pleaded for an immediate ban, saying there was a link between alcohol abuse and the increase in HIV infections.

For years, people have reported having unsafe sex when drunk, or not using a condom correctly after heavy drinking, she said. The current government’s policy for managing the disease for the next five years recognises alcohol abuse as contributing to the spread of HIV.

“We have an opportunity to help the next generation live in a country that does not depict alcohol consumption as part of the social norm. We should grab it,” said Kalideen. She concluded saying that 33 international studies showed that young people exposed to alcohol advertising drank more than their peers into adulthood.

Source: 06/24/13

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