Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Rising rates of HIV infection

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 10 February 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:320

Rapid Response:

An Alternative to existing ABC of HIV prevention

While alternative evidence emerges in support of ABC formulae working towards arresting the spread of HIV/AIDS, the ultimate secret lies in behavioural change. The unending debate on whether to emphasise treatment or prevention lead us no where because new behavioural change can only reduce new infections. The existing ABC of HIV prevention may well be effective but its effectiveness would perhaps call for a transformation and recognition of male responsibility in materialising the same on ground. On the other hand the autonomy of sexual negotiation by women would perhaps take us a long way in successful implementation of ABC.

Hence, the alternative ABC could be thought of in terms of autonomy of women, ensuring basic needs and creating awareness (ABC). Women’s autonomy as well as ensuring basic needs (i.e. addressing extreme poverty) may serve as a positive environment for effective prevention and creating awareness will add in terms of recognition of male responsibility.

Competing interests: None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

14 February 2005
Udaya S Mishra
Takemi Fellow, department of Population and International Health
Harvard school of Public Health, 665, Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA