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Models to Prevent New Infections

Preventing new HIV infections is a major focus of HIV programs in the United States. Biomedical advancements, changes in healthcare legislation, the proliferation of antiretroviral treatments, as well as an increased understanding of routes of transmission have contributed to evidence-based and promising models and strategies for preventing new infections.

Prevention programs in rural communities may be designed to target specific populations or geographic locations, and programs may choose to implement several types of interventions to address different community needs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that several strategies have shown promise for continued progress in preventing new HIV cases. These strategies include programs that use behavioral interventions aimed at both people who are HIV-negative and people who are HIV-positive, HIV testing and linkage to care, treatment with antiretroviral medication, access to condoms and sterile syringes, and treatment for substance use disorders.

Increasingly, HIV testing as well as treatment (which includes retention in care and adherence) have been promoted as highly effective methods of prevention, since a person with a reduced viral load is less likely to transmit HIV to another person. These other types of preventions models will be discussed throughout Module 2, within Models to Identify HIV/AIDS Cases, Models to Improve Access to Quality HIV Care, and Models to Improve Retention, Adherence, and Self-Management.