Ezedunukwe, I. and Okwundu, C. I. (2010) Economic interventions for prevention of HIV risk and HIV infection. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 1, Art. No. CD008330.Link to Source
HIV infection is more prevalent in poverty-stricken economies and in low- and middle-income countries. Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 10 per cent of the total world population but is home to 68 per cent of the total population living with AIDS (Population Reference Bureau 2007; Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS 2007d). Together with poverty, gender inequality is often claimed as a contributing factor to HIV/AIDS. In developing countries, economic dependence on men and food insecurity worsens women’s intrahousehold power to negotiate for protected sex, or they might even be forced to sell sex, which increases their susceptibility to infection.
By fostering women’s empowerment and thereby their intrahousehold bargaining power, economic interventions are believed to be an effective strategy to prevent HIV risk and transmission. To date the available evidence on the effectiveness of these interventions on reduction of HIV risk and infection has not been conclusive.
To evaluate the effects of economic interventions implemented for preventing HIV risk and HIV infection and to evaluate the effects on preventing intimate-partner violence.
The authors will include all studies evaluating the effects of economic interventions—microfinance, microcredit, financial incentive programs, financial planning programs, job training programs or combinations of these—on the reduction of HIV risks and infections, focussing on HIV-positive and HIV-negative people worldwide. The authors will include only randomised controlled trials or trials with nonrandomised comparison groups and pre-post programme evaluations. The primary outcomes assessed in the review will be the incidence of HIV and of sexually transmitted infections.
To identify such studies, the authors will conduct a systematic search, without any restrictions on date, in relevant electronic databases. Next, two authors will independently screen the full text of selected studies, extract the relevant data and assess the quality and risk of bias of included studies. Finally, the authors will group the results by outcome and will use a random-effects model of meta-analysis to synthesise the findings from the included studies.