PEPFAR’s Emphasis on ABC Is Evidence-Based, Opinion Piece Says
The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief's emphasis on the ABC HIV prevention model -- which stands for abstinence, be faithful and use condoms -- is "evidence-based" and is "driven by" African nations and not PEPFAR, Namibian Minister of Health Richard Kamwi, Thomas Kenyon of CDC's Global AIDS Program and Gary Newton of USAID write in a Lancet opinion piece in response to an April 15 Lancet editorial. The ABC response to the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa is "based on local strategies and priorities" and was "originally and independently adopted by African countries in the 1990s to prevent sexual transmission" of HIV, the authors write. "Shifting resources to 'C' at the expense of 'AB,'" as the April 15 editorial suggests, might "compromise [the] expansion of programs to empower young people to say no to sex," the authors write, adding that recent findings from Uganda, Kenya and Zimbabwe suggest an association between "declines in HIV prevalence and behavior change" that are consistent with the ABC method. "Difficult decisions" about PEPFAR funding and the ABC method must "continue to be made in partnership with host governments," the authors write, adding that "[m]any more lives will be saved" if the focus remains on HIV prevention and that ABC is "currently the most effective way to do that" (Kamwi et al., Lancet, 6/17).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.