Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Community-based Measures Fail To Reduce HIV Levels, New Study Shows

Date:
April 4, 2007
Source:
Imperial College London
Summary:
Interventions that target individuals with a high risk of contracting HIV have a negligible impact on HIV transmission in the general population, according to a new study of communities in Zimbabwe, published today. The three-year study shows that community-based peer education, free condom distribution, and clinic-based STI treatment and counselling services targeted at female sex workers and their male clients had no impact on HIV incidence in the wider community.

Interventions that target individuals with a high risk of contracting HIV have a negligible impact on HIV transmission in the general population, according to a new study of communities in Zimbabwe, published today. The three-year study shows that community-based peer education, free condom distribution, and clinic-based STI treatment and counselling services targeted at female sex workers and their male clients had no impact on HIV incidence in the wider community.

The study shows that it was possible to reduce the incidence of HIV in men - but not the women - who were reached by the programme. However, the reduction in HIV incidence amongst these men did not have the anticipated impact on HIV incidence in the larger community.

The researchers, writing in the journal PLoS Medicine, had hoped that levels of HIV in the community as a whole could be reduced through targeting men and women who were perceived to have the riskiest sexual behaviour and reducing the incidence of HIV amongst them. They believed that this would reduce HIV incidence in the wider sexual networks where these people were thought to be key.

The programme aimed to reduce transmission through sex workers and it provided women with small interest-free loans together with training in small business management, in order to reduce their economic dependence on sex work. Recent studies show that commercial sex work centred around bars and beer halls remains a major source of HIV transmission.

The male participants benefited from the programme with a decrease in incidence of HIV-1, a reduction in reporting of unprotected sex with casual partners, and a decrease in symptoms of sexually transmitted infections. However, the study found that these benefits were not shared by the sex workers reached by the programme and there was no resultant reduction in HIV incidence for the community as a whole.

The researchers believe that their efforts to reduce incidence in female sex workers were unsuccessful largely for economic reasons. Whilst some men may have given up visiting sex workers or started to use condoms consistently, the sex workers themselves were unable to acquire alternative sources of income and continued to have unprotected sex with some of their partners - on occasions, in exchange for a larger payment.

Dr Simon Gregson, lead author of the study from the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London, said: "The results of the study were disappointing. Targeting smaller high-risk groups did not have the knock-on effect we had hoped and in addition, we weren't able to reduce the incidence of HIV in women in the way we had anticipated. We wanted to reduce women's reliance on sex work through our micro-credit scheme but this failed, partly because of the economic downturn in Zimbabwe.

"Programmes similar to the one we introduced are widely used in HIV prevention in sub-Saharan Africa. Our study shows that we probably need much larger programmes, based on skills training, to alleviate poverty and strategies that reach into the wider community to stem the epidemic," he added.

The study compared six pairs of communities in Eastern Zimbabwe, each with its own health centre. Control communities received the standard government services for preventing HIV. The other communities received a package of additional strategies including education and condom distribution amongst sex workers and their clients; better services at sexually transmitted infection clinics; and educational HIV/AIDS open days at health centres. Over 63,000 meetings were conducted and 7 million condoms were distributed by trained peer educators.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Imperial College London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Imperial College London. "Community-based Measures Fail To Reduce HIV Levels, New Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 April 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070326204528.htm>.
Imperial College London. (2007, April 4). Community-based Measures Fail To Reduce HIV Levels, New Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070326204528.htm
Imperial College London. "Community-based Measures Fail To Reduce HIV Levels, New Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070326204528.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins