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Efficacy trials of biomedical strategies to prevent HIV infection

Kaldor, John Ma; Guy, Rebecca Jb; Wilson, Davidc

Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS: July 2008 - Volume 3 - Issue 4 - p 504–508
doi: 10.1097/COH.0b013e32830413dc
Fostering new models of science development and collaboration: Edited by Robert Oelrichs and Mark Boyd

Purpose of review The aim of this article is to outline key challenges facing the conduct of efficacy trials for biomedical strategies to prevent HIV infection.

Recent findings The past 2–3 years have seen tumultuous development in this field. There have been disappointing findings in efficacy trials of vaginal microbicides, vaccines, the diaphragm and suppressive therapy for herpes, but a major breakthrough with the evidence that male circumcision prevents acquisition of infection. Meanwhile, clarity has started to emerge on a number of issues regarding trial conduct, including provision of standard of care, involvement of communities, and preparation for implementing effective interventions.

Summary HIV prevention practice must continue to rely on condom promotion and other established strategies while biomedical approaches continue to be assessed and their implementation strategies evolve.

aNational Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, University of New South Wales, Sydney

bCentre for Epidemiology and Population Health Research, Burnet Institute, Melbourne, Australia

cCentre for International Health, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia

Correspondence to John M. Kaldor, National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia E-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.