Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
VOA News Examines Efforts To Determine Effectiveness of HIV Prevention Programs Worldwide
VOA News on Wednesday examined efforts by HIV/AIDS advocates to determine which HIV prevention programs are effective. Martha Ainsworth of the World Bank said that it is almost impossible to determine how many people avoided contracting HIV because of a prevention program. "We can't distinguish ... whether [a reduction in the number of new HIV cases] is the normal outcome of the epidemic or a result of public policy," Ainsworth said. The success of prevention programs also is difficult to assess because program evaluations are not scientific, and different HIV prevention methods are successful in different countries, Debrework Zewdie, the World Bank's director for the Global HIV/AIDS Program, said. Cyril Pervilhac of the World Health Organization stressed that evaluations are not meant to criticize programs and that local program implementors should be seen as partners in program evaluations. Ainsworth said that the taboo nature of sex and other topics in some countries also makes it more difficult to evaluate programs (Pearson, VOA News, 4/26).
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