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Did national HIV prevention programs contribute to HIV decline in eastern Zimbabwe? Evidence from a prospective community survey

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Objective: To add to the evidence on the impact of national HIV prevention programs in reducing HIV risk in sub-Saharan African countries. Methods: Statistical analysis of prospective data on exposure to HIV prevention programs, relatives with AIDS and unemployment, and sexual behavior change and HIV incidence, in a population cohort of 4047 adults, collected over a period (1998 - 2003) when HIV prevalence and risk-behavior declined in eastern Zimbabwe. Results: Exposure to HIV prevention programs and relatives with AIDS-but not unemployment-increased from 1998 to 2003. Men and women exposed to media campaigns and HIV/AIDS meetings had greater knowledge and self-efficacy, attributes that were concomitantly protective against HIV infection. Women attending community HIV/AIDS meetings before recruitment were more likely than other women to adopt lower-risk behavior (96.4% vs. 90.8%; adjusted odds ratio, 3.09; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.27-7.49) and had lower HIV incidence (0.9% vs. 1.8%; adjusted incidence rate ratio, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.32-1.24) during the intersurvey period. Prior exposure to relatives with AIDS was not associated with differences in behavior change. More newly unemployed men as compared with employed men adopted lower-risk behavior (84.2% vs. 76.0%; adjusted odds ratio, 2.13; 95% CI, 0.98-4.59). Conclusions: Community-based HIV/AIDS meetings reduced risk-behavior amongst women who attended them, contributing to HIV decline in eastern Zimbabwe.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/36611/

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