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Activity Brief
9 January 2018

Does shifting gender norms on the community level lead to increased HIV services uptake?

A growing body of evidence suggests that programs seeking to change harmful gender norms can have notable HIV-related impacts on program participants, including increased condom use, and a decrease in sexually transmitted infections and intimate partner violence. Yet there is limited evidence of whether such programs can shift norms at the community level, and if so, whether, and how, these changes can improve men’s and women’s uptake of HIV services.


This brief provides an overview of a study Project SOAR and partners are conducting in South Africa on the effects of community interventions on gender norm change and HIV outcomes. The SOAR study builds on an ongoing National Institute of Mental Health-funded randomized controlled trial being conducted in South Africa—Community Mobilization for Treatment as Prevention. Specifically, the study team is strengthening and expanding the gender content of the intervention to engage both women and men in critically examining gender norms and power inequalities. The team is also examining the intervention’s effects in changing community gender norms and resulting HIV service utilization.

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