Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hope: An Overlooked Tool In The Battle Against HIV/AIDS

Date:
August 10, 2008
Source:
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Summary:
The links between HIV transmission and the degree to which people are able to adopt realistic plans to achieve future projects, in other words, hope, have been overlooked in policies to tackle HIV/AIDS. New research argues that hope is a powerful tool in the battle to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.

The links between HIV transmission and the degree to which people are able to adopt realistic plans to achieve future projects, in other words, hope, have been overlooked in policies to tackle HIV/AIDS.

New research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) argues that hope is a powerful tool in the battle to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Almost 30 years into the AIDS epidemic a medical vaccine for the disease remains elusive. Efforts to control the spread of HIV have been fairly successful in Western countries but have met little success in Africa. For example, life expectancy at birth is now estimated to be 36 years in Botswana, instead of 71 years without AIDS. It is expected to drop towards 30 within the next ten years.

ESRC Professorial Fellow, Tony Barnett, from the London School of Economics, argues: “Current policies to tackle HIV/AIDS in Africa emphasise individual behaviour such as the ABC approach to prevention: Abstain, Be faithful, Condomise. However, these measures require that people have hope for the future and goals to aim for. And if wider economic and social circumstances are so poor that people lack hope for the future, then these current policies will have limited success.”

People with hope for the future are less likely to engage in activities in the present that put them at risk of illness in the future. Those without hope for the future, by contrast, place a low value on the future. For example, men who lack hope for the future may be unwilling to surrender immediate pleasure in return for a far-off future benefit by wearing a condom.

Increasing evidence shows that policies to combat AIDS that focus exclusively on individual behaviour are flawed if they dissociate behavioural change from the social, economic and cultural contexts. Security, stability, expectations of seeing the birth of grandchildren and their coming to adulthood, expectations of seeing a small enterprise grow bigger or a tree crop plantation come to maturity – these are all signs and indicators of hope that can have vital impacts on decisions and behaviours.

In contrast HIV/AIDS can destroy hope, resulting in vicious spirals that damage societies and lead to further HIV infections. When life prospects are so poor, people have little incentive to save for the future and to educate children. AIDS has also led to a growing number of orphans in Africa. Without financial, educational and emotional support for the future, a growing number of young people in Africa are less prepared for life and more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS.

“Hope is quite straightforward to measure via questionnaires and surveys can help to identify high risk environments,” concludes Professor Barnett. “Although there is not a great deal of experience in developing programmes to increase hope, policies such as cash support for children, microfinance for small businesses, women’s education, reduced discriminations against sexual minorities and health system reform will improve the wider environment. And with more to live for, interventions to encourage individuals to change their behaviour are more likely to succeed.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). "Hope: An Overlooked Tool In The Battle Against HIV/AIDS." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080807222004.htm>.
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). (2008, August 10). Hope: An Overlooked Tool In The Battle Against HIV/AIDS. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080807222004.htm
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). "Hope: An Overlooked Tool In The Battle Against HIV/AIDS." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080807222004.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Nigeria Ups Ebola Stakes on 1st Death

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Nigerian authorities have shut and quarantined a Lagos hospital where a Liberian man died of the Ebola virus, the first recorded case of the highly-infectious disease in Africa's most populous economy. David Pollard reports Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Running 5 Minutes A Day Might Add Years To Your Life

Newsy (July 29, 2014) According to a new study, just five minutes of running or jogging a day could add years to your life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Ebola Outbreak Poses Little Threat To U.S.: CDC

Newsy (July 29, 2014) The Ebola outbreak in West Africa poses little threat to Americans, according to officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 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