A Systematic Review of Behavioral Interventions to Prevent HIV Infection and Transmission among Heterosexual, Adult Men in Low-and Middle-Income Countries
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- Townsend, L., Mathews, C. & Zembe, Y. Prev Sci (2013) 14: 88. doi:10.1007/s11121-012-0300-7
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Prevention of new HIV infections needs to move to the forefront in the fight against HIV and AIDS. In the current economic crisis, low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) should invest limited resources to amass reliable evidence-based information about behavioral prevention efforts, and on behaviors that are driving the epidemic among people who are engaging in those behaviors. This paper aims to provide a systematic review and synthesis of behavioral interventions among a group of people in high HIV-burden countries: heterosexual men in LMICs. The review includes articles published between January 2001 and May 2010 that evaluated behavioral prevention interventions among heterosexual males aged 18+ years in LMICs. The studies were evaluated using the quality assessment tool for quantitative studies developed by the Effective Public Health Practice Project. The review identified 19 articles that met the review's inclusion criteria. Most studies were conducted in South Africa (n=6); two each in Uganda and Thailand; and one in each of Angola, Brazil, Bulgaria, India, Nigeria, the Philippines, Russia, Ukraine and Zimbabwe. Eight of 19 interventions increased condom use among their respective populations. Those interventions that sought to reduce the number of sexual partners had little effect, and those that addressed alcohol consumption and intimate partner violence had mixed effects. There was no evidence for any specific format of intervention that impacted best on any of the targeted risk behaviors. The paucity of evaluated interventions for heterosexual men in LMICs suggests that adult men in these countries remain underrepresented in HIV prevention efforts.