Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Hope: an overlooked tool in the battle against HIV/Aids

The links between HIV transmission and the degree to which people are able to adopt realistic plans to achieve future projects, in other words, hope, have been overlooked in policies to tackle HIV/AIDS.

New research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) argues that hope is a powerful tool in the battle to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Almost 30 years into the AIDS epidemic a medical vaccine for the disease remains elusive. Efforts to control the spread of HIV have been fairly successful in Western countries but have met little success in Africa. For example, life expectancy at birth is now estimated to be 36 years in Botswana, instead of 71 years without AIDS. It is expected to drop towards 30 within the next ten years.

ESRC Professorial Fellow, Tony Barnett, from the London School of Economics, argues: “Current policies to tackle HIV/AIDS in Africa emphasise individual behaviour such as the ABC approach to prevention: Abstain, Be faithful, Condomise. However, these measures require that people have hope for the future and goals to aim for. And if wider economic and social circumstances are so poor that people lack hope for the future, then these current policies will have limited success.”

... more about:

People with hope for the future are less likely to engage in activities in the present that put them at risk of illness in the future. Those without hope for the future, by contrast, place a low value on the future. For example, men who lack hope for the future may be unwilling to surrender immediate pleasure in return for a far-off future benefit by wearing a condom.

Increasing evidence shows that policies to combat AIDS that focus exclusively on individual behaviour are flawed if they dissociate behavioural change from the social, economic and cultural contexts. Security, stability, expectations of seeing the birth of grandchildren and their coming to adulthood, expectations of seeing a small enterprise grow bigger or a tree crop plantation come to maturity – these are all signs and indicators of hope that can have vital impacts on decisions and behaviours.

In contrast HIV/AIDS can destroy hope, resulting in vicious spirals that damage societies and lead to further HIV infections. When life prospects are so poor, people have little incentive to save for the future and to educate children. AIDS has also led to a growing number of orphans in Africa. Without financial, educational and emotional support for the future, a growing number of young people in Africa are less prepared for life and more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS.

“Hope is quite straightforward to measure via questionnaires and surveys can help to identify high risk environments,” concludes Professor Barnett.

“Although there is not a great deal of experience in developing programmes to increase hope, policies such as cash support for children, microfinance for small businesses, women’s education, reduced discriminations against sexual minorities and health system reform will improve the wider environment. And with more to live for, interventions to encourage individuals to change their behaviour are more likely to succeed.”

Danielle Moore | alfa
Further information:

Further reports about: Aids HIV HIV/AIDS

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>