AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 11, Supplement 1, pp 72–83 | Cite as

Start Talking About Risks: Development of a Motivational Interviewing-Based Safer Sex Program for People Living with HIV

  • Carol E. Golin
  • Shilpa Patel
  • Katherine Tiller
  • E. Byrd Quinlivan
  • Catherine A. Grodensky
  • Maureen Boland
Original Paper


The epidemiology of HIV infection in the US in general, and in the southeast, in particular, has shifted dramatically over the past two decades, increasingly affecting women and minorities. The site for our intervention was an infectious diseases clinic based at a university hospital serving over 1,300 HIV-infected patients in North Carolina. Our patient population is diverse and reflects the trends seen more broadly in the epidemic in the southeast and in North Carolina. Practicing safer sex is a complex behavior with multiple determinants that vary by individual and social context. A comprehensive intervention that is client-centered and can be tailored to each individual’s circumstances is more likely to be effective at reducing risky behaviors among clients such as ours than are more confrontational or standardized prevention messages. One potential approach to improving safer sex practices among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) is Motivational Interviewing (MI), a non-judgmental, client-centered but directive counseling style. Below, we describe: (1) the development of the Start Talking About Risks (STAR) MI-based safer sex counseling program for PLWHA at our clinic site; (2) the intervention itself; and (3) lessons learned from implementing the intervention.


HIV prevention Motivational interviewing Sexual behavior 



We would like to thank Ross Oglesbee for her administrative and editorial assistance on this manuscript. This research was supported by a Special projects of National Significance (SPNS) grant from Health Resources Services Administration (No. HA01289-02) and by the University of North Carolina Center for AIDS Research (P30 AI50410).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carol E. Golin
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 7
  • Shilpa Patel
    • 2
  • Katherine Tiller
    • 1
  • E. Byrd Quinlivan
    • 1
    • 6
  • Catherine A. Grodensky
    • 1
  • Maureen Boland
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medicine, School of MedicineUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  2. 2.UNC Sheps Center for Health Services ResearchUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  3. 3.Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public HealthUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  4. 4.Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services ResearchUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  5. 5.University of North Carolina Center for AIDS ResearchChapel HillUSA
  6. 6.Center for Infectious DiseasesUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA
  7. 7.UNC Sheps Center for Health Services ResearchUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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