South Africa: Policy-oriented Synthesis of Evidence for AIDS Prevention, 2006

Commissioned by the Interdepartmental AIDS Unit of Gauteng province through a public tender won by CIET Trust, this policy-oriented synthesis has three main types of content:
1. A grey literature review focuses on local evidence of AIDS prevention, particularly from Gauteng. This establishes a series of outcome indicators describing the state of AIDS prevention in the province.
2. The review of published studies focuses on 152 randomised controlled trials and 46 systematic reviews published between 2000 and 2005. These systematise available evidence AIDS on prevention. Approximately one half of the studies provided estimates of the impact, measured as the proportion of the population that can be “saved” by the intervention.
3. Prevention planning models then applied the RCTs’ evidence to the specific conditions of Gauteng. We documented also the side effects of interventions and the longer term (downstream) effects beyond the immediate objective reducing HIV cases.
These prevention models do not lead to single intervention recommendations for investment. The synthesis illustrates how monothematic interventions are not the solution. The prevention models enrich policy dialogue about prevention dynamics and perhaps come closer to the reality planners need for an evidence-based approach to AIDS prevention.