At the intersection of social science and HIV prevention research is Project ACCEPT—an HIV prevention trial in which communities have been randomized to receive either a community based voluntary counselling and testing (CBVCT) intervention plus clinic based standard voluntary counselling and testing (SVCT) or SVCT alone. The research study is being conducted in five international sites in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Thailand.
The aim of the research is:
- To create awareness about open dialogues around HIV and AIDS in the community; To enhance the community’s understanding of participation in, and enthusiasm for VCT;
- To foster an understanding and acceptance of HIV positive members of the community;
- Promotion of risk reduction; and
- To make HIV testing a community norm.
The study seeks to fulfill its aims by working through established relationships with stakeholders, community based outreach volunteers and community working groups. It does so by making VCT more available in community settings through a mobile VCT caravan, engaging the community through outreach, education, and mobilization and providing high quality post-test support. These three strategies are designed to change community norms and reduce risk for HIV infection among all community members, irrespective of whether they participated directly in the intervention.
For more information about Project ACCEPT, please visit the study website.