Synthesizing gender based HIV interventions in Sub-Sahara Africa: a systematic review of the evidence

AIDS Behav. 2013 Nov;17(9):2831-44. doi: 10.1007/s10461-013-0541-x.


Gender is a critical component of HIV and sexual risk interventions. Examining the range, effectiveness and methodological rigor of studies that include a gender based component can inform current interventions and future directions for intervention research. This review investigated gender informed intervention studies conducted in sub-Saharan Africa that measured an outcome related to HIV. We reviewed 311 articles, 41 of which met our inclusion criteria, resulting in 11 articles that described eight different studies used in the analyses. The findings demonstrated wide variations in the types of interventions from low intensity educational content to multi-component interventions. Study outcomes were categorized into biological outcomes, HIV risk, behavioral, violence and risk reduction. Most interventions showed positive effects, and although research methodologies varied considerably, longer interventions appeared to be more effective. More research, however, is needed to build the evidence base for effectiveness of gender-based programs in reducing HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Africa South of the Sahara / epidemiology
  • Age Distribution
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data
  • Domestic Violence* / ethnology
  • Domestic Violence* / psychology
  • Domestic Violence* / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Health Education* / organization & administration
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Preventive Health Services* / organization & administration
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sexual Behavior* / ethnology
  • Sexual Behavior* / psychology
  • Sexual Behavior* / statistics & numerical data
  • Women's Health*