Prevention counseling for HIV-infected persons: What every clinician needs to know
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- Duffus, W.A. & Ogbuanu, I.U. Curr Infect Dis Rep (2009) 11: 319. doi:10.1007/s11908-009-0047-x
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The absence of adequate and regular prevention counseling during routine clinical encounters translates into missed opportunities for HIV prevention. HIV care providers have considerably more contact with patients than clinicians in other disciplines. These contacts should be translated into opportunities to provide HIV prevention messages to patients and should be a priority for all clinicians caring for HIV-positive patients. Coincidental preventive care for HIV-positive patients is inherently unproductive because of the absence of reinforcing messages. In a recent meta-analysis, HIV-positive individuals who underwent counseling and testing services reduced high-risk behaviors by about 68%. Prevention counseling should focus on positive reinforcement, harm reduction, education, and support. We strongly recommend regular, brief, targeted prevention counseling as a part of every clinical encounter.