Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Abstinence Programs Fail To Cut Risk Of HIV Infection

Date:
August 3, 2007
Source:
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Summary:
Programs that exclusively encourage abstinence from sex do not seem to affect the risk of HIV infection in high income countries, finds a review of the evidence. This also calls into question the continued use of public money to fund abstinence only programs in the United States.

Programmes that exclusively encourage abstinence from sex do not seem to affect the risk of HIV infection in high income countries, finds a review of the evidence in the British Medical Journal.

Related Articles


This also calls into question the continued use of public money to fund abstinence only programmes in the United States.

Abstinence only programmes encourage sexual abstinence as the exclusive means of preventing HIV infection, without promoting safer sex behaviours, but their effectiveness in high income settings remains unclear.

At present, thirty-three per cent of HIV prevention funds from the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) are used for abstinence only programmes. This limits the funding available for other safer sex strategies. Domestic US programs also receive substantial federal and state funding.

A pre-existing review has already examined programme effectiveness in low income countries, so researchers at the University of Oxford reviewed 13 trials involving over 15,000 US youths to assess the effects of abstinence only programmes in high income countries.

Programmes aimed to prevent HIV infection or HIV and pregnancy. They measured self reported biological and behavioural outcomes such as sexually transmitted infection, pregnancy, frequency of unprotected sex, number of partners, and sexual initiation.

Compared with various controls, no programme had a beneficial effect on incidence of unprotected vaginal sex, number of partners, condom use, sexual initiation, incidence of pregnancy, or incidence of sexually transmitted infection.

The results also suggest that abstinence only programmes did not increase primary abstinence (prevention) or secondary abstinence (decreased incidence and frequency of recent sex).

Despite some study limitations, these conclusions are consistent with previous reviews that found no evidence of an effect of abstinence only programmes in developing countries or the United States, say the authors. They call for more rigorous evaluations of these programmes in the future.

They also point out that the US Senate has agreed to extend funding of community based abstinence education (CBAE) to $141m which, in view of this evidence, needs to be reconsidered, they argue.

In contrast to abstinence only programmes, programmes that promote the use of condoms greatly reduce the risk of acquiring HIV, especially when such programmes are culturally tailored behavioural interventions targeting people at highest risk of HIV infection, say researchers in an accompanying editorial.

They suggest that in the United States priority should be given to culturally sensitive, sex specific, behavioural interventions that target Black and Hispanic patients in clinics for sexually transmitted infections, men who have sex with men, and adolescents being treated for drug misuse who are at highest risk of acquiring HIV.

In the developing world the contribution of the "ABC" message (abstinence, be faithful, use a condom) also remains unknown, they conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMJ-British Medical Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Abstinence Programs Fail To Cut Risk Of HIV Infection." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070802201917.htm>.
BMJ-British Medical Journal. (2007, August 3). Abstinence Programs Fail To Cut Risk Of HIV Infection. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070802201917.htm
BMJ-British Medical Journal. "Abstinence Programs Fail To Cut Risk Of HIV Infection." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070802201917.htm (accessed November 27, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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