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

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

Evidence from randomized controlled clinical trials isconsidered the best. Such trials have provided evidence that treatment can preventHIV transmission from mother to child and that male circumcision can reduce HIVcases in African men. 

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

In addition to these limitations, even the proven programs arenot always implemented, often because of insufficient funds or capacity issues.Political or social considerations are created obstacles.  

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