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EvidenceStudy Summaries
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Lindsay Mgbor/DFID

Impact of Stepping Stones on incidence of HIV, HSV-2 and IPV in rural South Africa

This study evaluated the impact of Stepping Stones, a participatory group and community-based prevention programme, on sexual behaviours and sexual health outcomes- including HIV, Herpes Simplex Type 2 (HSV-2) and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV)- in rural villages in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Villages were randomised to either receive the 50-hour intervention focusing on knowledge building, risk awareness, communication and critical reflection, or a 3-hour information session about HIV and safer sex. 

This study found no evidence that the Stepping Stones intervention impacted HIV incidence, though incidence of laboratory- confirmed HSV-2 was reduced, as were self-reports of sexual risk behaviours among male participants, including lower levels of IPV perpetration. Female participants did not report fewer sexual risk behaviours nor lower levels of IPV victimisation.

Read our programme summary about Stepping Stones and its adaptations.

Link to the Stepping Stones website for more resources.