AbstractOBJECTIVE:A critical review of issues around the effectiveness of educational approaches applied in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention.
METHODS:Published papers, systematic reviews and technical reports were reviewed.
RESULTS:The review has identified the large gap between the current state of the art and the ultimate goal of the education-based approaches contributing to the reduction of HIV incidence rates. Significant positive impact has been reported mainly on mediating factors to behavioural change (knowledge, attitude, and intentions). The reported impact on actual behaviour change has been weak and short-lived. Biological markers are not used in many studies as outcome measures and follow-up period is too short to facilitate the measurement of impact on behaviour change or biological markers. Several methodological flaws and cultural issues militate against effective programming. A guideline for standardising practice and research in school-based programme is available for use.
CONCLUSION:There is only very modest evidence of the effectiveness of educational interventions as a result of several gaps in project design, implementation and follow-up. There is urgent need to raise practice and research standards.