The APRP was an affiliate of Harvard University from August 2007 through April 2010 under a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. All content is archived as of June 1, 2010.



September 11, 2008

APRP NEWS & EVENTS

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1. APRP researchers present current work at International AIDS Conference

2. APRP Director Dr. Edward C. Green and APRP Affiliate Dr. Norman Hearst participate in Technical Working Group for President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)

OTHER PRESENTATIONS BY APRP RESEARCHERS

3. Dr. Daniel Halperin presents a seminar to the Global HIV/AIDS Programme of the World Bank

4. Mr. Timothy Mah presents behavior change research to South African organizations

5. Dr. Green gives in-depth interview on Cincinatti radio station

ARTICLES & PUBLICATIONS BY APRP RESEARCHERS

6. Dr. David Wilson and Dr. Halperin publish  "Know your epidemic, know your response: A useful approach-- if we get it right" in Aug. 9 issue of The Lancet

7. Dr. Halperin and Mr. Mah publish "Concurrent Sexual Partnerships and the HIV Epidemics in Africa: Evidence to Move Forward" in July 22 issue of AIDS and Behavior

8. Dr. Green reviews Helen Epstein's book The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West, and the Fight Against AIDS in the Aug. 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association

9. Dr. Halperin responds to a column by Sen. Jim DeMint in the Washington Times on the U.S. government's global AIDS assistance  


APRP NEWS & EVENTS

1. APRP researchers present current work at International AIDS Conference

All four APRP researchers presented current work at the XVII International AIDS Conference held in Mexico City from August 3-8.

Dr. Green’s poster, “Role of Traditional Leadership in Supporting and Designing HIV Prevention Interventions” presented research conducted with the Ubuntu Institute as part of a project that seeks to involve traditional leaders in HIV prevention in southern Africa.

Dr. Halperin's poster, "Rethinking HIV Prevention in General Epidemics," was based on the article "Reassessing HIV Prevention" that appeared in the May 9 issue of Science. Dr. Halperin gave an oral presentation based on the poster, and also gave an oral presentation titled "The role of programmes and the social environment in Zimbabwe's HIV decline: Results from the qualitiative research and historical mapping of HIV prevention programming."

Mr. Mah's poster, "Frequency and Correlates of Concurrent Sexual Partnerships in Khayelitsha, South Africa," summarized some of his doctoral research of multiple concurrent partnerships.

Ms. Allison Herling Ruark's poster, "A Qualitative Analysis of the Sexual Behavior and the HIV risk of older Ugandans," presented research undertaken with Dr. Speciosa Wandira.

2. APRP Director Dr. Edward C. Green and APRP Affiliate Dr. Norman Hearst participate in Technical Working Group for President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)

Dr. Green and Dr. Hearst have been invited participants in the Technical Working Group on PEPFAR Impact Indicators, which has been tasked with developing indicators for PEPFAR-funded programs in the next phase of PEPFAR-- now funded at $48 billion. 

OTHER PRESENTATIONS BY APRP RESEARCHERS

3. Dr. Daniel Halperin presents a seminar to the Global HIV/AIDS Programme of the World Bank

Dr. Halperin's presentation was titled “Cutting Back - Implementing Large Scale Male Circumcision and Partner Reduction Campaigns in Africa.” The Global HIV/AIDS Programme supports the World Bank's efforts to address the HIV/AIDS pandemic from a cross-sectoral perspective, and offers global learning and knowledge sharing on approaches and best practices to addressing HIV/AIDS.

4. Mr. Timothy Mah presents behavior change research to South African organizations

While Mr. Mah was conducting research in South Africa in June and July he was invited to address AIDS policy in several venues. In June, Mr. Mah spoke with leaders at Sonke Gender Justice to help develop guidelines for government policy on the role of men in reproductive health, in particular HIV/AIDS. Sonke Gender Justice works in urban and rural areas across southern Africa using a human rights framework to build the capacity of government, civil society organizations and citizens to achieve gender equality, prevent gender-based violence and reduce the spread of HIV and the impact of AIDS. Mr. Mah also worked with Grassroots Soccer on a long range plan and an evaluation of their programs across southern Africa, and integrating behavior change especially related to multiple concurrent partnerships into their programs.

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5. Dr. Green gives in-depth interview on Cincinnati radio station

In this interview, Dr. Green described the simple but profound behavior changes that have accounted most for declines in HIV infection rates in Uganda and, later, elsewhere in Africa. When asked why this model has not been more widely adopted, he answered that he is addressing this question in a book he is currently writing. Part of the answer to this is historical: HIV was discovered among high-risk groups in the United States, namely gay men and IV drug users. Gay men did not want public health officials to try to change their behavior, but rather to tell them how to reduce risk. As for drug users, public health officials assumed that they would not or could not change their risk behaviors. This risk-reduction approach of doing "the next best thing," namely promoting and providing condoms, drugs, and clean needles, was exported to the rest of the world.

Green also pointed out that programs following the Uganda-style emphasis on fidelity, on not having multiple and concurrent partners, contribute to the "dignity of women." "Empowering" African women has often been used to mean women being able to insist on condom use. True empowerment and dignity, said Green, is the right to say no to unwanted sex, including to a woman's husband if she thinks he has an extramarital partner.

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ARTICLES & PUBLICATIONS BY APRP RESEARCHERS

6. Dr. David Wilson and Dr. Halperin to publish  "Know your epidemic, know your response: A useful approach-- if we get it right" in Aug. 9 issue of The Lancet

In this Comment to a special edition of The Lancet focused on current research and best practices in HIV/AIDS, Drs. Wilson and Halperin offer a number of guidelines in using the "know your epidemic, know your response" approach to HIV prevention. For instance, they argue "in southern Africa's epidemics of exceptionally high prevalence, the greatest challenge is not knowing your epidemic—but knowing how to bring about profound social and normative changes to reduce multiple, and especially concurrent, sexual partnerships." 

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7. Dr. Halperin and Mr. Mah publish "Concurrent Sexual Partnerships and the HIV Epidemics in Africa: Evidence to Move Forward" in July 22 issue of AIDS and Behavior

Dr. Halperin and Mr. Mah write, "The role of concurrent sexual partnerships is increasingly recognized as important for the transmission of sexually transmitted infections, particularly of heterosexual HIV transmission in Africa. Modeling and empirical evidence suggest that concurrent partnerships—compared to serial partnerships—can increase the size of an HIV epidemic, the speed at which it infects a population, and its persistence within a population. This selective review of the published and unpublished literature on concurrent partnerships examines various definitions and strategies for measuring concurrency, the prevalence of concurrency from both empirical and modeling studies, the biological plausibility of concurrency, and the social and cultural underpinnings of concurrency in southern Africa."

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8. Dr. Green reviews Helen Epstein's book The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West, and the Fight Against AIDS in the Aug. 6 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association

About this book, Dr. Green comments, "a book has been needed that reaches beyond a scientific or academic audience, given the widespread misunderstanding about what actually drives African or generalized epidemics (it is not mainly poverty or discrimination, Epstein argues) and what needs to be done to reduce infection rates (primarily to reduce multiple, concurrent partnerships)."

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9. Dr. Halperin responds to a column by Sen. Jim DeMint in The Washington Times on the U.S. government's global AIDS assistance

In this June 10 response in The Washington Times, Dr. Halperin clarifies some points regarding AIDS prevention in Africa, and argues "Ultimately, the main question is not whether the United States can afford to help Africa - the proposed $50 billion is only a fraction of what's spent in Iraq - but how best to spend such funds, and where. Presently, a very urgent priority, in addition to maintaining life-prolonging AIDS medications for those Africans in need, should be to help prevent mass starvation and improve basic health services in very impoverished countries such as Ethiopia. Thus, I concur with the senator's plea that " America can assist Africa, and we can do it responsibly."

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