Researchers call for more study of the behaviors of HIV-positive individuals
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The best way to stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV is to keep people from contracting these viruses and infections in the first place. In order to do this, healthcare officials need to understand the types of risky behavior that people engage in that leads to them developing an STD or HIV.
Recently, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health sent out an appeal to the healthcare community, stressing the importance of understanding the motivations behind risky sexual behavior in order to reduce the number of HIV cases worldwide.
Study authors said that at-risk populations need to be identified and studies need to determine what types of HIV prevention campaigns would work on each group. Ads and literature designed to encourage people to practice safer sex to avoid HIV do not work on all populations, and healthcare officials need to do more to understand what type of message would get through to all groups.
According to the study authors, there are three main subgroups of people living with HIV. There are those that are unaware that they have the virus, those who know they are sick and do not practice risky behavior and individuals who are aware they have HIV but engage in dangerous sexual practices anyway. While all of these people can transmit the virus, some are careful, while others are not, and researchers need to understand why.
"The framework we describe helps us to move more toward 'complementary prevention' in which the best interventions from all domains are chosen to address clients' specific clinical needs and to address public health needs of averting new infections. HIV prevention needs an approach that is truly synergistic, resulting in an effect that is more than the sum of the intervention's parts," concluded study authors.
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