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Elements of Successful HIV/AIDS Prevention Programs

Although every prevention program is unique, research reveals that successful programs have specific strategies and practices in common. This section of the NPIN site reviews the 11 elements of successful HIV prevention programs, explains the ideal continuum of prevention and treatment successful prevention programs can strive toward, and provides links to more information about HIV/AIDS prevention.

The Eleven Elements of Successful Prevention Programs
The Ideal Continuum of HIV Prevention and Treatment
Featured HIV/AIDS Prevention Program Information


The Eleven Elements of Successful Prevention Programs

Effective HIV prevention programs are comprehensive and science-based. Following are the specific elements required for HIV prevention to work:

  • An effective community planning process
  • Epidemiological and behavioral surveillance; compilation of other health and demographic data relevant to HIV risks, incidence, or prevalence (Read more about HIV Surveillance and Data Management)
  • HIV counseling, testing, and referral, and partner counseling and referral, with strong linkages to medical care, treatment, and prevention services (Read more about HIV Counseling, Testing, and Referral)
  • Health education and risk reduction activities, including individual-, group-, and community-level interventions (Read more about HIV Education and Outreach)
  • Accessible diagnosis and treatment of other STDs (Read more about HIV Counseling, Testing, and Referral)
  • Public information and education programs
  • Comprehensive school health programs (Read more about HIV Education and Outreach)
  • Training and quality assurance
  • HIV prevention capacity-building activities
  • An HIV prevention technical assistance assessment and plan
  • Evaluation of major program activities, interventions, and services

The goals, objectives, and strategies of the DHAP Strategic Plan 2011-2015 address each of these essential components of successful, comprehensive HIV prevention programs.



The Ideal Continuum of HIV Prevention and Treatment

Effective programs work on many levels simultaneously: individual levels, social network and community levels, and at the societal structure level. They address the needs and issues relevant to both people at risk and those already infected in support of a continuum of HIV prevention and treatment, in which:

  • Individuals use a full array of existing services and interventions to adopt and maintain risk reduction behaviors
  • Individuals determine their HIV status through voluntary counseling and testing as early as possible after possible exposure to HIV
  • If HIV negative, individuals use the full array of existing services and interventions to adopt and maintain risk reduction behaviors; if HIV positive, individuals use quality prevention services and work to adopt and sustain lifelong protective behaviors to avoid transmitting the virus to others
  • If HIV positive, individuals enter the care system as soon as possible to reap the benefits of ongoing care and treatment
  • Once in the care system, individuals benefit from comprehensive high-quality services, including mental health and substance abuse treatment services, treatment for HIV infection, and treatment of opportunistic and other infections like STDs and TB
  • With their providers and support networks, individuals develop strategies to optimize adherence to their prescribed therapies


Featured HIV/AIDS Prevention Program Information

Empower Young Men—videos on HIV prevention with young men of color who have sex with men
From CDC

HIV Planning Guidance (PDF)
From CDC's Division of HIV/AID Prevention

Provisional Procedural Guidance for Community Based Organizations (PDF)
From CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV Prevention; Planning for Potential Implementation in the U.S. (fact sheet)
From CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention

DHAP Strategic Plan 2011-2015
From CDC's Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention

The National HIV Prevention Inventory: The State of HIV Prevention Across the US
From NASTAD and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Model Prevention Programs
From Center for AIDS Prevention Studies

CAPS Instruments (surveys for use by HIV prevention program planners and designers)
From Center for AIDS Prevention Studies

How Does Evaluation Help In HIV Prevention?
From the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies at the University of California San Francisco

2003-2008 HIV Prevention Community Planning Guidance (PDF)
From DHAP, this document defines the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) expectations of health departments and HIV prevention community planning groups (CPGs) in implementing HIV prevention community planning.

Capacity Building
From CDC

Replicating Effective Programs Plus
From DHAP

AIDS Community Demonstration Projects: A Successful Community-Level Intervention to Reduce HIV Risk
From DHAP

HIV Cost Effectiveness
From CDC

Compendium of Evidence-Based HIV Behavioral Interventions
From CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention

HIV Prevention Program Evaluation
From the American Psychological Association (APA)




Page Last Updated: March 31, 2014

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