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HIV Prevention in Southern Africa: Why We Must Reassess Our Strategies?

Publication year: 
Author (s): 
Katsidzira, Leolin; Hakim, James G.
Publication details: 
London, Blackwell Publishing, 2011
Publication in: 
Tropical Medicine and International, Volume 16, No. 9, pp 1120– 1130, September 2011

Southern Africa continues to shoulder a disproportionate burden of the HIV epidemic with the number of new infections outstripping treatment initiation two- to threefold. Current prevention strategies have had a limited impact on the trajectory of the epidemic so far. The history of HIV prevention research is dominated by failed approaches, but recent developments have provided reason for hope. These include the successful male circumcision outcomes in trials in South Africa, Kenya and Uganda, the recent protective outcome of a tenofovir vaginal gel trial in South Africa and the proof that pre-exposure prophylaxis with oral combination tenofovir/emtricitabine can work in men. The latter positive outcome has however been shattered by the early closure of FEM-PrEP for futility. The challenge now is on how to best integrate emerging prevention methods with established strategies,recognising that some of the older methods have never been scaled up to saturation level.