The Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) has convened a global expert consultation this week in Baltimore to review a synthesis of evidence that demonstrates the impact of social and behavior change communication (SBCC) on HIV prevention outcomes.
This first-of-its-kind review brings together experts representing biomedical and behavioral perspectives from USAID, CDC, academia, the developing world and foundations.
During the course of the three-day consultation, the group plans to examine evidence from the developing world, identify gaps and then provide recommendations for moving forward.
The goal is to reach consensus on the impact of SBCC on HIV prevention programs.
David Holtgrave – professor and chair of the Department of Health, Behavior and Society at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health – and Rajiv Rimal – professor and chair of the Department of Prevention and Community Health at George Washington University – are co-facilitating the meeting.
The basis of discussion is a draft review undertaken by HC3 that synthesizes evidence from more than 40 countries. After culling through 960 articles, 67 were identified as meeting the following criteria for inclusion.
- Reports HIV/behavioral outcomes
- At least a portion of interventions took place in developing nations
- Interventions included were initially published in peer-review journals
- The role of communication is made explicit in the HIV prevention process
- The article was published after 2000.
The meeting opened with a discussion of risk reduction, focusing on causal pathways (self-efficacy, interpersonal communication and stigma) and condom use. Following that the group will look at service-related interventions, including counseling and testing, prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), treatment adherence and voluntary medical male circumcision.