A key example of this type of research was our community outreach project Ukwazana/Zwakalani. Using a combination of methods, Anova’s researchers identified key factors affecting HIV risk among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the peri-urban townships of Cape Town and Johannesburg. Anova found that HIV risk in these men was affected by factors both within their daily lives, such as stigma and discrimination, and personal factors such as depression. These findings helped to shape subsequent interventions with these MSM.
Behavioural research also forms an important part of evaluating the impact of interventions and adjusting the implementation process. These research methods enable Anova to adapt to the changing contexts in which we work. For example, an evaluation of Anova’s partnership with the Department of Health provided insights into the way the collaborative relationship functioned and important ways to strengthen our joint work.