A conceptual framework to assess the effectiveness of HIV prevention

TitreA conceptual framework to assess the effectiveness of HIV prevention
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsSpencer, B
Conference NameXI International AIDS Impact Conference, Barcelona, Spain 29.09.13 - 02.10.13
Date Published09
Conference LocationBarcelona
Accession Numberserval:BIB_1CB1A50DA8EA
Mots-clésAIDS, assessment, conceptual framework, effectiveness, HIV, prevention

Aim: The relative effectiveness of different methods of prevention of HIV transmission is a subject of debate that is renewed with the integration of each new method. The relative weight of values and evidence in decision-making is not always clearly defined. Debate is often confused, as the proponents of different approaches address the issue at different levels of implementation. This paper defines and delineates the successive levels of analysis of effectiveness, and proposes a conceptual framework to clarify debate.
Method / Issue: Initially inspired from work on contraceptive effectiveness, a first version of the conceptual framework was published in 1993 with definition of the Condom Effectiveness Matrix (Spencer, 1993). The framework has since integrated and further developed thinking around distinctions made between efficacy and effectiveness and has been applied to HIV prevention in general. Three levels are defined: theoretical effectiveness (ThE), use-effectiveness (UseE) and population use-effectiveness (PopUseE). For example, abstinence and faithfulness, as proposed in the ABC strategy, have relatively high theoretical effectiveness but relatively low effectiveness at subsequent levels of implementation. The reverse is true of circumcision. Each level is associated with specific forms of scientific enquiry and associated research questions: basic and clinical sciences with ThE; clinical and social sciences with UseE; epidemiology and social, economic and political sciences with PopUseE. Similarly, the focus of investigation moves from biological organisms, to the individual at the physiological and then psychological, social and ecological level, and finally takes as perspective populations and societies as a whole. The framework may be applied to analyse issues on any approach. Hence, regarding consideration of HIV treatment as a means of prevention, examples of issues at each level would be: ThE: achieving adequate viral suppression and non-transmission to partners; UseE: facility and degree of adherence to treatment and medical follow-up; PopUseE: perceived validity of strategy, feasibility of achieving adequate population coverage.
Discussion: Use of the framework clarifies the questions that need to be addressed at all levels in order to improve effectiveness. Furthermore, the interconnectedness and complementary nature of research from the different scientific disciplines and the relative contribution of each become apparent. The proposed framework could bring greater rationality to the prevention effectiveness debate and facilitate communication between stakeholders.





Citation Key / SERVAL ID4157


IUMSP | www.iumsp.ch
Institut universitaire de médecine sociale et préventive
Route de la Corniche 10, 1010 Lausanne - Switzerland
+41 21 314 72 72 | dess.info@unisante.ch

Go to top