This is the protocol for a review and there is no abstract. The objectives are as follows:
To determine the effects of abstinence-based programs for preventing HIV infection among participants in high-income countries.
The intervention will be any planned effort intended to increase rates of abstinence. The participants will be anyone in high-income countries. Our primary outcome measures will be the incidence and frequency of unprotected vaginal sex, anal sex, oral sex, HIV, other STIs, and pregnancy. We shall include studies comparing abstinence-based programs with the following interventions: no intervention; HIV-unrelated programs comparable in time and format (eg a program involving the same activities and the same number of sessions, but focused on abstinence from drugs, not sex); and HIV prevention programs that do not emphasize abstinence. We will also include comparisons between abstinence-only and abstinence-plus programs.
Acknowledgement: much of our methodology and many of our identifying criteria have been reproduced, with permission, from the Cochrane protocol by M Sweat et al, "Abstinence-based programs for preventing HIV in developing countries."