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Community-based HIV-prevention efforts can boost testing, help reduce new infections
Date:3/5/2013

ed 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 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 fewer multiple partners. 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.

  • Diagnoses of HIV infection were higher in intervention communities.

  • Social acceptance of the importance of testing was higher 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 implementation efforts.

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

Contact: Enrique Rivero
erivero@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2273
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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