, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 634-637

Moving the Bar to the Right Place: Positioning Interventions in HIV Prevention

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In their article titled “Setting the Bar High or Setting Up to Fail?: Interpretations and Implications of the EXPLORE Study”, Kalichman et al. [1] discuss the positive and negative interpretations in the research literature about the effectiveness of the EXPLORE behavioral intervention in reducing HIV incidence. They conclude that the preponderance of negative interpretations has had a consequential negative impact on policy decisions about the role of behavioral counseling in HIV prevention in the United States (US). Kalichman et al. [1] go on to discuss that the 35 % benchmark for a reduction in HIV incidence in the EXPLORE Study was “setting the bar too high.” We believe that while the role of behavioral counseling is critical for HIV prevention, the HIV prevention intervention “bar” needs to move to a different location altogether.

The EXPLORE behavioral counseling intervention was “plausibly efficacious”. Many, if not most, commentators on the EXPLORE Study have failed to recognize