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The challenge of evaluating a national HIV prevention program: the case of loveLife, South Africa
  1. Audrey E Pettifor (apettif{at}
  1. Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill/University of the Witwatersran, United States
    1. Catherine MacPhail (c.macphail{at}
    1. Reproductive Health and HIV Research Unit, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
      1. Stefano Bertozzi (sbertozzi{at}
      1. Division of Health Economics & Policy, National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, Mexico, Mexico
        1. Helen Rees (h.rees{at}
        1. University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa


          While 50% of all new global HIV infections occur among young people, our knowledge to date of the impact of adolescent HIV prevention interventions in developing country settings is very limited. During 1999 a national HIV prevention program for youth, called loveLife, was launched in South Africa. This paper aims to describe the challenges faced in trying to evaluate such a national program and the types of evidence that could be used to better understand the effect of programs of national scale. A range of methods were planned to evaluate the program including national household surveys and program monitoring data. Given the urgent need to scale up programs in an effort to reduce new HIV infections, a range of evidence should be assessed to measure the effect of large-scale, complex behavioral interventions as an alternative to randomized controlled trials.

          • Adolescents
          • Evaluation
          • HIV
          • South Africa

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