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December 4, 2009

Examining the Obstacles to HIV Prevention

What constitutes evidence in the field of HIV prevention? That was the main topic of discussion on World AIDS Day at the Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS Research Alliance conference in Johannesburg, PlusNews reports.  

According to the article, the global economic crisis and increasing HIV rates have pressured donors and governments worldwide to concentrate resources on proven prevention strategies.  

Evidence from randomized controlled clinical trials is considered the best. Such trials have provided evidence that treatment can prevent HIV transmission from mother to child and that male circumcision can reduce HIV cases in African men.  

However, behavioral and social interventions such as ABC (abstain, be faithful, use condoms) and programs to reduce multiple concurrent sex partners often are not easily tested using such trials.  

In addition to these limitations, even the proven programs are not always implemented, often because of insufficient funds or capacity issues. Political or social considerations are created obstacles.  

“We know what works,” said Innocent Ntanganira, regional advisor on HIV prevention for the World Health Organization. “We need to go to scale with national prevention programs.”

Search: prevention, Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS Research Alliance

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