Can Policy Interventions Affect HIV-Related Behaviors? A Systematic Review of the Evidence from Low- and Middle-Income Countries
In their response to HIV, many countries have adopted and enacted policies to reduce transmission and increase HIV-related service use. Theoretically, policy-level interventions for HIV prevention have the potential to improve health behavior outcomes. These policy interventions vary in their scale, from relatively minor changes in clinical policy to major national legal initiatives. Assessing the effectiveness of HIV policy interventions is a challenging undertaking. While many policies exist and guide HIV programmes, relatively few have specifically been evaluated for their effects on reducing HIV risk taking or increasing HIV health-seeking behaviors. Thus, questions on the effectiveness of policy interventions to prevent HIV and change HIV-related risk behaviors remain largely unanswered. To address this current gap in the literature, we systematically reviewed the existing evidence on the effect of HIV policy interventions on changing HIV-related behaviors in low-and middle-income countries.