AIDS has emerged as a serious public health threat for women. Reducing the risk for HIV infection among sexually active women requires the adoption of preventive strategies that effectively inhibit viral transmission. However, there is a paucity of published literature describing interventions targeted toward women and even fewer published reports evaluating their effectiveness. We conducted a search of HIV prevention interventions for women using the MEDLINE, ERIC and PSYCHLIT on-line computer database for the years January 1984-May 1995 to assess the effectiveness of interventions in increasing condom use during sexual intercourse. Interventions efficacious at increasing condom use applied a social psychological model of behavior to guide the development and implementation of the intervention, used randomized controlled designs to evaluate program efficacy, emphasized gender-related influences, were peer-led, and used multiple intervention sessions. While these findings are promising, methodologic limitations preclude any definitive assessment of programmatic efficacy. One challenge for future studies is to corroborate and extend these findings using rigorous methodologic research designs to evaluate programmatic efficacy, in particular, longer follow-up to assess stability of treatment effects over time. Another challenge is to understand the implications of previous research for the development of more gender-relevant interventions. The urgency of the HIV epidemic demands that the development and evaluation of HIV-prevention interventions tailored toward women remain a public health priority. Medical Subject Headings (MeSH): women, HIV/AIDS, interventions, prevention.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health