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Structural Factors in HIV Prevention

Structural interventions to encourage primary HIV prevention among people living with HIV

Shriver, Michael D.; Everett, Charles; Morin, Stephen F.

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This analysis focuses on primary prevention for people living with HIV and the importance of actively involving HIV-infected people in developing prevention strategies. Structural-level or policy interventions - as opposed to behavioral or psychological interventions - help shape the world in which HIV-infected people live. Thus, we assess potential policy-level interventions that may serve either as a barrier to or a facilitator of primary HIV prevention from the perspective of the people living with HIV. Among potential barriers, we discuss criminalization of nondisclosure in specific sexual situations, laws limiting travel and immigration, name-based HIV reporting and mandatory partner notification. Under potential facilitators, we discuss confidentiality laws, antidiscrimination protections, expansion of HIV primary care, and primary prevention programs designed to actively involve infected people. Ultimately, whether any given policy is a 'barrier' or 'facilitator' of primary HIV prevention is an empirical question, dependent on the acceptability of an intervention to those already infected and those at risk, thus policy research evaluating the impact of structural factors on people living with HIV is encouraged.

© 2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.


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