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Transforming AIDS prevention to meet women's needs: A focus on developing countries


  • Heise, Lori L.
  • Elias, Christopher


As currently conceived, the global AIDS prevention strategy consists primarily of three interrelated tactics: (1) encouraging people to reduce their number of sexual partners; (2) promoting the widespread use of condoms; and (3) treating concurrent STDs in populations at risk of HIV. This three-pronged attack, however, is inadequate for meeting the protection needs of many of the world's women. Disproportionately poor and with little power to negotiate the terms of sexual encounters, women often cannot avail themselves of these life-saving strategies. Women need both a new commitment to addressing the underlying inequities that heighten their risk, and new technologies that provide them with a means of HIV protection within their personal control. This article makes the case for restructuring AIDS prevention by describing the growing risk of HIV infection faced by women throughout the world, examining the serious limitations of the contemporary AIDS prevention strategy in meeting women's needs, and exploring how new approaches--including a shift toward a more 'community organizing' approach to AIDS prevention--could help women exert more control over their sexual and reproductive lives.

Suggested Citation

  • Heise, Lori L. & Elias, Christopher, 1995. "Transforming AIDS prevention to meet women's needs: A focus on developing countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 931-943, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:40:y:1995:i:7:p:931-943

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    Cited by:

    1. Loubiere, Sandrine & Peretti-Watel, Patrick & Boyer, Sylvie & Blanche, Jérôme & Abega, Séverin-Cécile & Spire, Bruno, 2009. "HIV disclosure and unsafe sex among HIV-infected women in Cameroon: Results from the ANRS-EVAL study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(6), pages 885-891, September.
    2. Choi, Susanne Y.P. & Cheung, Yuet Wah & Chen, Kanglin, 2006. "Gender and HIV risk behavior among intravenous drug users in Sichuan Province, China," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(7), pages 1672-1684, April.
    3. Orner, Phyllis & Harries, Jane & Cooper, Diane & Moodley, Jennifer & Hoffman, Margaret & Becker, Julie & McGrory, Elizabeth & Dabash, Rasha & Bracken, Hillary, 2006. "Challenges to microbicide introduction in South Africa," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 968-978, August.
    4. Klisch, Shannon A. & Mamary, Edward & Diaz Olavarrieta, Claudia & Garcia, Sandra G., 2007. "Patient-led partner notification for syphilis: Strategies used by women accessing antenatal care in urban Bolivia," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 65(6), pages 1124-1135, September.
    5. Mantell, Joanne E. & Dworkin, Shari L. & Exner, Theresa M. & Hoffman, Susie & Smit, Jenni A. & Susser, Ida, 2006. "The promises and limitations of female-initiated methods of HIV/STI protection," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(8), pages 1998-2009, October.
    6. Tawfik, Linda & Watkins, Susan Cotts, 2007. "Sex in Geneva, sex in Lilongwe, and sex in Balaka," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(5), pages 1090-1101, March.


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