Global HIV Prevention Working Group (2008) Behaviour Change and HIV Prevention

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Friday 1st August 2008

Recent results from clinical trials of potential new HIV prevention interventions underscore what we have known for decades: Wider delivery of effective behavior change strategies is central to reversing the global HIV epidemic.

Recent results from clinical trials of potential new HIV prevention interventions underscore what we have known for decades: Wider delivery of effective behavior change strategies is central to reversing the global HIV epidemic. The availability of new biomedical HIV prevention modalities, such as vaccines and microbicides, is still many years away. Even when these tools finally emerge, human behavior will remain critical, as new prevention strategies are unlikely to be 100 percent effective in preventing transmission. With 2.5 million new HIV infections in 2007, there is an obvious and urgent need to pursue the effective strategies we have to promote safer behaviors.

Human behavior is complex; widespread behavior changes are challenging to achieve; and there are important gaps in our knowledge about the effectiveness of HIV prevention. Yet the research to date clearly documents the impact of numerous behavioral interventions in reducing HIV infection. We also know that in all cases in which national HIV epidemics have reversed, broad-based behavior changes were central to success.

See attachment for full report.