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HIV Prevention Knowledge Base

A Collection of Research and Tools to Help You Find What Works in Prevention

Biomedical Interventions: HIV Testing and Counseling as Prevention

Link to important additional materials and websites

Can Couples Testing Contribute to Achieving the AIDS Transition?

Over, M. (2010).

This study examines couples counseling within the context of the economic theory of asymmetric information as well as epidemiologic findings on its efficacy. Using observational data from several different countries, it suggests that the primary hurdle to HIV prevention is the lack of couples counseling. The problem of asymmetric information, when two people engaging in a transaction have differing amounts of information, is a driver to the HIV epidemic, the authors argues. Not knowing one another’s status discourages the formation and survival of monogamous partnerships. Based on data from studies that find lower HIV transmission rates among serodiscordant couples than among couples who do not know their partners’ status and from studies that find the majority of people obtain HIV tests individually, couples testing should be a priority for helping reduce the HIV epidemic, the author writes. In addition, he states that more rigorous research is needed around this issue of couples testing.

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Behavioural Strategies to Reduce HIV Transmission: How to Make them Work Better

Coates, T. J., Richter, L., & Caceres C. The Lancet (2008), Vol. 372 No. 9639, pp. 669-684.

This article argues that the radical behavioral change that is needed to reduce HIV transmission requires radical commitment. Reviewing 25 years of HIV prevention efforts, the authors identify successful HIV prevention efforts and ways to improve behavioral strategies to reduce HIV transmission. They argue for the need to combine behavioral, biomedical, and structural approaches to effectively fight HIV transmission. To date, behavioral changes have reduced HIV in certain countries, regions, or subpopulations due to significant behavior changes taking place among a majority of the population; a mix of communication channels providing clear, actionable risk reduction and health-seeking messages that people can choose from; and local involvement in developing, producing, and disseminating the right messages. Sustained changes in risk behavior, however, have not been found anywhere, they note. The authors conclude that behavioral strategies must take place combined with different approaches and at multiple levels of influence.

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World Health Organization, Department of HIV/AIDS

World Health Organization. (n.d.).

This webpage of the World Health Organization’s Department of HIV/AIDS lists all testing and counseling publications starting from 2000. Readers can link back from here to the department’s main counseling and testing page, which includes policy and guidance, advocacy, training materials, data on HIV counseling and testing, and more.

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Zimbabwe HIV Prevention e-Toolkit

K4Health, 2012.

The toolkit offers a selection of different materials including research papers, books, training materials, and behavior change communication materials across the spectrum of HIV prevention topics. Readers can access materials and resources on behavior change communication, condom use, family planning and HIV service integration, male circumcision, multiple and concurrent partners, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, and voluntary counseling and testing.

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