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Curr Opin HIV AIDS. 2008 Jul;3(4):489-94. doi: 10.1097/COH.0b013e32830136a0.

Understanding and integrating the structural and biomedical determinants of HIV infection: a way forward for prevention.

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  • 1National Centre in HIV Social Research, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. s.kippax@unsw.edu.au

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW:

As understanding and integrating the structural and biomedical determinants of HIV infection is essential for the success of prevention efforts, there is a need for biomedical and social scientists to work together.

RECENT FINDINGS:

A review of the biomedical research literature indicates that the two major routes of HIV transmission, sexual and injection drug use behaviours, are primarily understood as biological. A review of the social science literature, however, indicates that such a positioning provides a very weak basis for prevention, as these behaviours or practices are socially produced; that is, they are patterned by socio-cultural, economic and political forces as well as by biological factors. This paper compares successful with unsuccessful prevention interventions/programmes highlighting the central importance of the structural determinants of risk. For HIV-prevention programmes to be effective, the focus must shift from behaviour, for example, from vaginal intercourse, to the cultural forms in which it is enacted; that is, to marriage, concurrent partnering, sex work, and so forth.

SUMMARY:

This paper concludes that multidisciplinary teams provide a good starting place for the development of effective prevention programmes.

PMID:
19373010
[PubMed]
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