, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 137-145

Reducing the sexual risk behaviors of HIV+ individuals: Outcome of a randomized controlled trial

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Testing behavioral interventions to increase safer sex practices of HIV+ individuals has the potential to significantly reduce the number of new infections. This study evaluated a behavioral intervention designed to reduce the sexual risk behaviors of HIV+ individuals. HIV+ individuals (N = 387) who reported engaging in unprotected sex with HIV- or partners of unknown serostatus were randomly assigned to (a) a single counseling session targeting problem areas identified by the participant in 3 possible intervention domains (i.e., condom use, negotiation, disclosure); (b) a single-session comprehensive intervention that covered all 3 intervention domains; (c) the same comprehensive intervention, plus 2 monthly booster sessions; or (d) a 3-session diet and exercise attention-control condition. The median number of unprotectedsex acts decreasedfrom 14 at baseline to6, 6, and4 at 4-, 8-, and 12-month follow-ups, respectively. A repeated measures analysis of variance revealed a significant decrease in unprotected sex acts across all groups across time. A significant Group x Time interaction revealed that the comprehensive-with-boosters group had the most unprotected sex at 8-month follow-up as compared to the other 3 groups. These findings suggest that a brief intervention can result in large reductions in HIV transmission risks among HIV+ individuals, but the relative benefit of one intervention approach over another remains unclear.

Support for this work was provided, in part, by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Grant 5 R01 MH56264 (Brief Targeted Behavior Intervention for HIV+ Persons, T. L. Patterson, P.I.), NIMH Center Grant 2 P50 MH45294 (HIV Neurobehavioral Research Center, I. Grant, P.I.), and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
We thank all of the project staff, in particular Duane Stanton, who participated in data collection and the conduct of the intervention.