A great deal of attention has been focused recently on promoting the “ABCs” of HIV prevention— abstinence or delaying sex, being faithful to one sexual partner or reducing the number of sexual partners, and consistently using condoms during sex. Yet even as programs that focus on the ABCs to prevent sexual HIV transmission are rolled out, questions remain about how well different groups in varied cultural contexts understand the terms, as well as how best to address challenges to adopting the ABC behaviors. The Horizons Program and FHI/IMPACT developed a collaborative research study in 2004 to explore how adults and youth in Kenya define and perceive the ABC terms and behaviors. Additional study objectives, noted in this research summary, were to identify attitudes and norms around the ABC behaviors that influence perceptions of them, and the role of important actors in transmitting messages about them. Findings highlight potential challenges in promoting each of the ABC behaviors, as well as some positive elements that can be built upon when developing programs.
Pulerwitz, Julie, Tiffany Lillie, Louis Apicella, Ann P. McCauley, Tobey C. Nelson, Simon Ochieng, Peter Mwarogo, Karusa Kiragu, and Edward Kunyanga. 2006. "ABCs for HIV prevention in Kenya: Messages, beliefs, and barriers," Horizons Research Summary. Washington, DC: Population Council.