Wise Up/Phaphama

Principal Investigator: Seth Kalichman, Ph.D.

Brief overview

This program is a brief, community-based behavioral risk reduction intervention for men and women who use alcohol and are at-risk for HIV infection in South Africa.


Adult male and female alcohol users at risk for contracting HIV

Core Components of Intervention

  • Mode of Delivery and Duration: One 60-minute individual counseling session conducted by a bachelor’s level counselor
  • Setting: STI clinic (Cape Town, South Africa)
  • Theoretical Basis: Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura, 2001) & Motivational Interviewing
  • Materials Available: None


The original evaluation study included 143 STI clinic patients who were randomly assigned to receive either a 60-minute HIV/alcohol risk reduction condition or a 20-minute HIV education control condition.  Participants in the experimental condition reported lower rates of unprotected vaginal sex and greater condom at 3- and 6-month follow-ups and lower use of alcohol in sexual contexts at the 3-month follow-up compared to the control group (Kalichman et al., 2007).  The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has published a case study encouraging healthcare providers in developing countries to the Wise-Up/Phaphama intervention.

This intervention has also been expanded into an interactive 3-hour small group intervention conducted in taverns/shebeens.  The original evaluation study included 353 individuals living with HIV/AIDS and effects were assessed by comparing participants receiving the HIV/alcohol risk reduction intervention to participants receiving an HIV education control intervention.  At a 3-month follow-up assessment, participants receiving the HIV/alcohol risk reduction intervention reported less unprotected intercourse, less drinking in sexual contexts, and greater consistent condom use compared to the control condition.  At a 6-month follow-up assessment, participants receiving the HIV/alcohol risk reduction intervention only reported less drinking in sexual contexts compared to the control condition (Kalichman et al., 2008).

Implementation History


Contact info

Seth Kalichman, Ph.D.
2006 Hillside Road, U-1248
Storrs, CT 06269
Phone: 860.486.4042
Email: seth.k@uconn.edu