Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Community-based HIV prevention can boost testing, help reduce new infections

Date:
April 15, 2014
Source:
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences
Summary:
Communities in Africa and Thailand that worked together on HIV-prevention efforts saw not only a rise in HIV screening but a drop in new infections, demonstrating that programs such as this can encourage community-wide testing and help reduce HIV transmission, research shows.

Communities in Africa and Thailand that worked together on HIV-prevention efforts saw not only a rise in HIV screening but a drop in new infections, according to a new study in the peer-reviewed journal The Lancet Global Health.

Related Articles


The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health's Project Accept -- a trial conducted by the HIV Prevention Trials Network to test a combination of social, behavioral and structural HIV-prevention interventions -- demonstrated that a series of community efforts boosted the number of people tested for HIV and resulted in a 14 percent reduction in new HIV infections, compared with control communities.

Much of the research was conducted in sub-Saharan Africa, which has particularly high rates of HIV. The researchers were interested not just in how the clinical trial participants' behavior changed, but also in how these efforts affected the community as a whole, said Thomas Coates, Project Accept's overall principal investigator and director of UCLA's Center for World Health.

"The study clearly demonstrates that high rates of testing can be achieved by going into communities and that this strategy can result in increased HIV detection, which makes referral to care possible," said Coates, who also is an associate director of the UCLA AIDS Institute. "This has major public health benefit implications -- not only suggesting how to link infected individuals to care, but also encouraging testing in entire communities and therefore also reducing further HIV transmission."

These findings were previously presented at the 2013 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections in Atlanta.

The trial was conducted in 34 communities in South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe and in 14 communities in Thailand. It consisted of mobile testing for HIV, post-test support services and real-time feedback.

The aim of the intervention was fourfold: to increase access to voluntary counseling and testing, as well as post-test services; to change community attitudes about HIV awareness and particularly about the benefit of knowing one's HIV status; to remove barriers to knowing one's HIV status; and to increase the safety of testing and minimize the potential negative consequences of testing by providing various forms of support.

Communities were matched into pairs based on sociodemographic, cultural and infrastructure characteristics, with one community randomly assigned to the intervention and one serving as a control for comparison. (The randomization was performed centrally, and the assignment was not blinded, due to the nature of the intervention.)

Among the findings:

  • Rates of testing were 45 percent higher in intervention communities than in control communities, especially among men and young people.
  • Individuals in intervention communities, particularly those infected with HIV, reported a lower number of sexual partners and were less likely to have multiple partners concurrently. This was particularly true among HIV-positive men, who reported 18 percent fewer sexual partners overall and 29 percent fewer concurrent sexual partners than those in control communities.
  • HIV infections were diagnosed at a higher rate in intervention communities.
  • Social acceptance of the importance of testing was greater in intervention communities.
  • Modest reductions in HIV incidence occurred in the intervention communities compared with the control communities, particularly among women in the 25-to-32 age range.

Study participants who learned they were infected with HIV were directed to the study's post-test services, which included counseling and referrals to health and social services assistance. Those who tested negative were also directed to post-test services for further counseling, referrals and support -- to help ensure they remained uninfected. Local health authorities were thoroughly briefed on the study findings and encouraged to continue the efforts.

Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, principal investigator of the HIV Prevention Trials Network, under whose auspices the trial was conducted, said the findings reinforced that people need to be made aware of their HIV status through testing in order to receive the necessary care and treatment and to learn how to prevent infection.

"These study findings provide clear and compelling evidence that the provision of mobile services, combined with appropriate support activities, is a strategy that can increase testing rates and also reduce HIV incidence," she said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. The original article was written by Enrique Rivero. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Thomas J Coates, Michal Kulich, David D Celentano, Carla E Zelaya, Suwat Chariyalertsak, Alfred Chingono, Glenda Gray, Jessie K K Mbwambo, Stephen F Morin, Linda Richter, Michael Sweat, Heidi van Rooyen, Nuala McGrath, Agnès Fiamma, Oliver Laeyendecker, Estelle Piwowar-Manning, Greg Szekeres, Deborah Donnell, Susan H Eshleman. Effect of community-based voluntary counselling and testing on HIV incidence and social and behavioural outcomes (NIMH Project Accept; HPTN 043): a cluster-randomised trial. The Lancet Global Health, 2014; DOI: 10.1016/S2214-109X(14)70032-4

Cite This Page:

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. "Community-based HIV prevention can boost testing, help reduce new infections." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140415094042.htm>.
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. (2014, April 15). Community-based HIV prevention can boost testing, help reduce new infections. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140415094042.htm
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. "Community-based HIV prevention can boost testing, help reduce new infections." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140415094042.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Christmas Kissing Good for Health

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) — Scientists in Amsterdam say couples transfer tens of millions of microbes when they kiss, encouraging healthy exposure to bacteria. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Brain-Dwelling Tapeworm Reveals Genetic Secrets

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 22, 2014) — Cambridge scientists have unravelled the genetic code of a rare tapeworm that lived inside a patient's brain for at least four year. Researchers hope it will present new opportunities to diagnose and treat this invasive parasite. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Touch-Free Smart Phone Empowers Mobility-Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) — A touch-free phone developed in Israel enables the mobility-impaired to operate smart phones with just a movement of the head. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) — Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
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