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Alcohol consumption and its effects in Zimbabwe

In a paper entitled ‘Drug Use, Abuse and Alcoholism in Zimbabwe’ published in October 2002, it was argued that alcoholism is one of Zimbabwe’s four top diseases. The paper states that at least three million people in Zimbabwe are alcoholics. The paper projected that in 2022, alcoholism will be the country’s number one social problem.

A study looking at survivors of gender violence in Zimbabwe found that consumption of alcohol was often involved in cases of domestic violence. According to police reports, more than 1000 people die in alcohol abuse-related accidents every year. A further 3000 sustain minor to serious injuries.

In a cross-sectional sample of 324 men recruited at beer halls in Harare to study the associations between alcohol use, sexual risk behaviour and HIV infection, it was found that 31% of the men reported having sex while intoxicated in the previous six months. There was a significant association between having sex while intoxicated and recent HIV seroconversion.