Applying Behavioural Insights to HIV Prevention and Management: a Scoping Review

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Current HIV/AIDS Reports


Purpose of Review: This scoping review summarises the literature on HIV prevention and management interventions utilizing behavioural economic principles encapsulated in the MINDSPACE framework. Recent Findings: MINDSPACE is an acronym developed by the UK’s behavioural insights team to summarise nine key influences on human behaviour: Messenger, Incentives, Norms, Default, Salience, Priming, Affect, Commitment, and Ego. These effects have been used in various settings to design interventions that encourage positive behaviours. Currently, over 200 institutionalised behavioural insight teams exist internationally, which may draw upon the MINDSPACE framework to inform policy and improve public services. To date, it is not clear how behavioural insights have been applied to HIV prevention and management interventions. Summary: After screening 899 studies for eligibility, 124 were included in the final review. We identified examples of interventions that utilised all the MINDSPACE effects in a variety of settings and among various populations. Studies from high-income countries were most common (n = 54) and incentives were the most frequently applied effect (n = 100). The MINDSPACE framework is a useful tool to consider how behavioural science principles can be applied in future HIV prevention and management interventions. Creating nudges to enhance the design of HIV prevention and management interventions can help people make better choices as we strive to end the HIV/AIDS pandemic by 2030.

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