Wednesday, October 22, 2008

HIV prevention: What have we learned from community experiences in concentrated epidemics?

Journal of the International AIDS Society [October 1, 2008]

Bruno Spire, Isabelle de Zoysa, Hakima Himmich

Open Access

Drawing on lessons learned from community experiences in concentrated epidemics, this paper explores three imperatives in the effort to reduce the sexual transmission of HIV: combat prevention fatigue, diversify HIV testing and combat stigma and discrimination. The paper argues for a non-judgmental harm reduction approach to the prevention of sexual transmission of HIV that takes into account the interpretation of risk by diverse individuals and communities in the era of antiretroviral therapy. This approach requires greater attention to increasing access to opportunities to know one's serostatus, especially among key populations at greater risk. Novel approaches to diversifying HIV testing approaches at community level are needed. Finally, the paper makes a plea for bold measures to combat stigma and discrimination, which continues to represent a formidable barrier for access to services for affected populations and may contribute to HIV-related risk behaviours. A "triple therapy" approach to address stigma and discrimination is discussed, which includes greater acceptance of people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA), improving relevant laws and policies, and involving prevention users- working with people rather than for people-.

Read the whole article via Open Access.

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