The impact of community mobilisation on HIV prevention in middle and low income countries : a systematic review and critique

Cornish, Flora and Priego-Hernandez, Jacqueline and Campbell, Catherine and Mburu, Gitau and McLean, Susie (2014) The impact of community mobilisation on HIV prevention in middle and low income countries : a systematic review and critique. AIDS and Behavior, 18 (11). pp. 2110-2134. ISSN 1090-7165

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While community mobilisation (CM) is increasingly advocated for HIV prevention, its impact on measurable outcomes has not been established. We performed a systematic review of the impact of CM within HIV prevention interventions (N = 20), on biomedical, behavioural and social outcomes. Among most at risk groups (particularly sex workers), the evidence is somewhat consistent, indicating a tendency for positive impact, with stronger results for behavioural and social outcomes than for biomedical ones. Among youth and general communities, the evidence remains inconclusive. Success appears to be enhanced by engaging groups with a strong collective identity and by simultaneously addressing the socio-political context. We suggest that the inconclusiveness of the findings reflects problems with the evidence, rather than indicating that CM is ineffective. We discuss weaknesses in the operationalization of CM, neglect of social context, and incompatibility between context-specific CM processes and the aspiration of review methodologies to provide simple, context-transcending answers.

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Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
AIDS and Behavior
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This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited. Copyright. The Author(s) 2014. This article is published with open access at
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? community mobilizationcommunity participationhiv preventionhiv aidssystematic reviewinfectious diseasessocial psychologypublic health, environmental and occupational health ??
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Deposited On:
28 Mar 2014 09:46
Last Modified:
14 Jul 2024 01:05