Reassessing HIV Prevention
Potts, M., Halperin, D.T., Kirby, D., et al. Science (2008), Vol. 320 No. 5877, pp. 749 – 750.
This commentary challenges several assumptions about HIV epidemiology, including the idea that poverty is an important factor in the spread of HIV. The authors cite data from recent Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) to suggest that within Africa, high HIV prevalence is not associated with high levels of poverty or conflict, but instead correlates with high rates of MCP, and low levels of male circumcision. The authors also cite evidence that microbicides, vaccines, and HIV testing and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases have little effect on HIV transmission. They conclude that male circumcision (which can reduce a man’s risk of contracting HIV by more than one half) and reduction in sex partners are the most effective interventions for generalized epidemics.