The ABCEFG approach is an HIV prevention approach that emphasizes ABCDEFG behaviours and addresses the effects of gender, poverty, violence, stigma, and discrimination on sexual behaviour. As will be seen, in all cases in which an ABCDEFG Approach has been successful in reducing HIV prevalence within a population, plus elements such as increased gender equality and decreased stigma and discrimination have also been present to mention but a few. The key drivers identified in this strategy include multiple and concurrent sexual partners, low male circumcision, low rates of condom use; untreated, especially ulcerating sexually-transmitted infections (STIs), denial, stigma and discrimination, socio-cultural practices and traditions, gender and sexual violence, high alcohol and drug abuse, cultural beliefs, low risk perception, high population mobility and poverty.
The HIV prevention programme based (ABCEFG) model, has brought about numerous positive developments worldwide (Halperin, Steiner et al., 2004) including an increase in the age of sexual debut, a reduction in the number of sexual partners and an increase in the number of people using condoms. Despite such gains the HIV prevalence rate is still high and intensified efforts to reduce new infections and measures to halt further spread of the pandemic must be put in place. This ABC HIV prevention strategy is aimed at reversing the tide of the pandemic and has been a wide spread use in the fight of the pandemic.
The term sexual abstinence implies the deliberate and voluntary nonengagement in sexual intercourse by adolescents which is the first A in the ABCDEF STRATEGY (Green et al., 2002.) The sexual transmission of HIV can be prevented by avoiding the exposure to risk through sexual abstinence, it is applied through outreach programs to the general public, the use of posters and radio media communication to inform people in general. Sexual abstinence is an important pillar for HIV prevention amongst adolescents as they are more involved in sexual activities at schools and colleges mostly. In these circumstances, and for vulnerable young people in general, the most effective HIV prevention intervention may be a programme that encourages them to forgo sex altogether, to forgo penetrative sex, to delay it until marriage. However, Issues such as ignorance and illiteracy become a negative challenge to issues of abstinence.
Being faithful to one sexual partner which is the second abbreviation quote is itself explanatory, such as abstinence it is implemented through health campaigns and out spoken adverts by organisations example AIDS Council. Having multiple and concurrent sexual partners (MCP) is a key driver of HIV infection exacerbated by low number of men who are circumcised and low rates of condom use, as well as high levels of population mobility. Separation from regular partners and social norms can lead migrants to engage in behaviours which increase vulnerability to HIV for example alcohol abuse, unsafe casual or commercial sex. The main reason for this strategy is to cut sexual networks and reduce risk of contracting the virus.
Condoms are estimated to be between 80% and 90% effective when used consistently and correctly that is, they reduce HIV transmission by 80% to 90% compared to non-use.14 to 15%, condoms can also reduce the risk of many other sexually transmitted infections, the presence of which can increase the transmission efficiency of HIV. (Weller & Davis, 2002). Evidence for the effectiveness of condoms in reducing HIV rates at the population level comes from countries like Thailand that have different types of epidemic patterns than are found in Africa. In Thailand, which is considered the world’s great condom success story, the epidemic was largely enhanced by contact with sex workers. During the early 1990s, the number of men reporting consistent condom use when visiting a sex worker increased from 36% to 71% (Hearst ; Chen, 2004).
In addition, treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (including HIV) and male circumcision can also reduce, although not eliminate, the risk of HIV transmission. In the future, vaginal microbicides may also reduce the risk of HIV transmission once a safe and effective drug has been approved for use. A broader approach ought to have greater impact than a narrower one, given the variability of human behaviour and circumstances. A single preventive approach to something as complex as human sexual behaviour will never appeal to all people, let alone influence their behaviour (Halperin et al., 2004). Therefore, early treatment of STI’s is induced to supress the virus. HIV testing should always be recommended for individuals who are diagnosed with or suspected to have an STD treatment reduces an individual’s ability to transmit HIV.
Once more frank discussions can be applied through direct observations and key informants field trips Full knowledge of the options available to adolescents, from abstinence to safer sex, is important in empowering young people, influencing the choices they make about sex, and preventing new HIV infection. Until better prevention methods are available, the only way to ensure freedom from the risk of HIV infection, for many people, is to be open about the consequences and results of those outcomes.
Furthermore Get real by getting tested is one of the methods, the period between becoming infected with HIV and the point at which antibodies to HIV can be detected in the blood is called the window period. During this period, an HIV-infected person can still spread the disease, even though a test will not detect any antibodies in his or her blood. HIV transmission can be prevented by eliminating risky behaviours. HIV is spread through contact with bodily fluids from someone who is infected with the virus. Risky behaviours include having unprotected sex with a partner whose HIV status is unknown or who is infected with HIV, contact with infected blood and sharing injection drug needles or equipment containing blood from someone who may be infected with the virus. Several factors may prevent individuals from getting tested for HIV. It is important for members of high-risk populations to be tested for HIV. Research shows that knowledge of HIV status is linked to lower risk for acquiring and transmitting the virus.
In a nut shell, it is extremely difficult to keep questions of sexual morality, sexual stigma and discrimination out of the debate, however the ABCEFG approach offers risk reduction as well as risk avoidance and options for those at various levels of risk.