HIV prevention science and activities are driven by the epidemiology of HIV transmission, research related to behavior change science, and by interventions that have proven effective in reducing risk for HIV infection. HIV prevention activities take into account the following overlaying factors: 1) population (defined by geography, ethnicity, gender, age, socioeconomic status, or other demographic characteristics); 2) route of HIV transmission (sexual, parenteral, or vertical); 3) social units targeted (individual, couple, family, network, community, etc.); and 4) specific life circumstances or co-factors of infection targeted, e.g. persons who are HIV positive, individuals who exchange sex for resources, young men of color who have sex with men (MSM), or sexual partners of injection drug users (IDU).
HIV prevention providers are expected to utilize effective technological, behavioral, and social strategies in assisting their clients to reduce their risk for HIV infection. Providers are expected to develop new strategies and implement targeted interventions that are grounded in sound behavior change science with proven effectiveness. While ongoing research is necessary to ensure that there are a number of successful HIV prevention interventions to employ in combination for the greatest effect, it is equally important that existing activities are evaluated and measured against a set of sound principles for efficiency and effectiveness. The purpose of establishing HIV standards is to ensure consistent quality service provision and to establish benchmarks for evaluation.