The cultural challenge of HIV/AIDS

, ; Download publication

The Lancet series on HIV and men who have sex with men (MSM) examines scientific advances alongside the cultural and political dimensions of HIV/AIDS.

The editorial by Pamela Das and Richard Horton argues that structural elements of the HIV epidemic, such as stigma and criminalisation, have been neglected in the pursuit of technical solutions.

Working towards more accurate research on HIV stigma

Measuring the impact of stigma as a global driver of HIV involves considerable conceptual and technical challenges. The diversity of research on stigma matches its complexity as a social and structural phenomenon – HIV stigma comes in many different forms, exists in all kinds of contexts and produces a wide range of consequences, often intersecting with other kinds of social stigma.

Transactional sex and HIV incidence in a cohort of young women in the Stepping Stones trial

, ; Download publication

Transactional sex elevates young women’s risk of HIV infection, independent of partner number or age.

This paper proposes a more complex investigation of transactional sex, often subject to overly simple measures and arbitrary definitions. For example, research tends to conflate material gain and age difference between partners.

Addressing social drivers of HIV/AIDS: Some conceptual, methodological, and evidentiary considerations

, ; Download publication

The patterns of behaviour that shape vulnerability to HIV arise from combinations of structural drivers.

Social science approaches must be more fully incorporated into the global response to HIV - this is now widely recognised. In this paper, the aids2031 Social Drivers Working Group draws attention to the intersection of specific social, economic and political contexts that combine to shape the structural drivers of HIV.

Transitioning care, support, and treatment services for adolescents living with HIV

, ; Download Publication

Technical report on care and treatment issues affecting adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV) in Botswana, Kenya and Zambia.

The report contends that there is a lack of consistency in services or monitoring for ALHIV, who are underserved by the gap between pediatric and adult care, without services specifically targeting adolescents.

The report covers the following areas:


Measurement Brief: Measuring HIV stigma and discrimination

To understand how HIV stigma operates and how it can be reduced, researchers need a standardised measurement framework. 

The importance of addressing gender inequality in efforts to end vertical transmission of HIV

, ; Download publication

Programmes to prevent mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) are still being hampered by gender inequality. This is an upstream issue that this paper argues must be incorporated into PMTCT by policymakers and implementers.  

The paper highlights how gender inequality affects the ability of women and girls to protect themselves from HIV, prevent unintended pregnancies and access and continue to use HIV prevention, care and treatment services.

Adolescent enrolment in HIV prevention trials

, ; Download publication

How can we overcome the challenges of doing research with adolescents?

Funders and researchers assume that it is difficult to enrol and retain adolescents in HIV studies. However, this short piece in The Lancet cites studies that successfully enrolled participants under 25 years into biomedical and behavioural trials in various settings and with different populations.

The Centre for Social Protection: Transforming research and policy

, ; Download publication

This report includes information on a Transformative Social Protection framework. Introducing an emphasis on social justice and equity, the framework focuses on the root causes of poverty and vulnerability.

In this report, the Centre defines social protection as including all initiatives, both formal and informal, that provide:

HIV and the Law: Risks, rights and health

, ; Download publication

A summary of HIV-related legal environments from 140 countries, this report gathers evidence from activists, organisations and people living with HIV. It offers recommendations for governments and international bodies on the development of science-based, pragmatic and humane legal practices. It also offers advocacy tools for people living with HIV, communities affected by HIV and civil society.

Issues and key populations include: