More individuals were newly infected with HIV in 2005 than any other year. Sub-Saharan Africa and especially southern Africa bears the brunt of this pandemic. Although the picture in sub-Saharan Africa is largely one of a 'stable' epidemic where AIDS-related mortality is matched by the incidence of new infections, some countries in the Southern regions have continued to see increasing HIV prevalence. In this light, there is an urgent need for new approaches to HIV prevention. Here we review the current state of HIV prevention technologies, with particular emphasis on new approaches to HIV prevention that have particular promise in southern Africa. As the vast majority of new HIV infections in Africa are through heterosexual contact, the focus here is on interventions that address sexually transmitted HIV, i.e. male circumcision, vaccines, vaginal microbicides, barrier methods, herpetic genital ulcer control, and sociobehavioural interventions. Other important HIV prevention interventions (such as blood safety interventions and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission) are not included.
Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine (2006) 7 (2) [issue 23] 13-17.