Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 137–145

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


    • Department of Psychiatry (0680)University of California San Diego
  • William S. Shaw
    • Liberty Mutual Center for Disability Research
  • Shirley J. Semple
    • Department of Psychiatry (0680)University of California San Diego

DOI: 10.1207/S15324796ABM2502_10

Cite this article as:
Patterson, T.L., Shaw, W.S. & Semple, S.J. ann. behav. med. (2003) 25: 137. doi:10.1207/S15324796ABM2502_10


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.

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© The Society of Behavioral Medicine 2003