AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 252–262 | Cite as

Mental Health Treatment to Reduce HIV Transmission Risk Behavior: A Positive Prevention Model

  • Kathleen J. Sikkema
  • Melissa H. Watt
  • Anya S. Drabkin
  • Christina S. Meade
  • Nathan B. Hansen
  • Brian W. Pence
Original Paper


Secondary HIV prevention, or “positive prevention,” is concerned with reducing HIV transmission risk behavior and optimizing the health and quality of life of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). The association between mental health and HIV transmission risk (i.e., sexual risk and poor medication adherence) is well established, although most of this evidence is observational. Further, a number of efficacious mental health treatments are available for PLWHA yet few positive prevention interventions integrate mental health treatment. We propose that mental health treatment, including behavioral and pharmacologic interventions, can lead to reductions in HIV transmission risk behavior and should be a core component of secondary HIV prevention. We present a conceptual model and recommendations to guide future research on the effect of mental health treatment on HIV transmission risk behavior among PLWHA.


HIV prevention Mental health Secondary HIV prevention Positive prevention Methodology 



This research was partially supported by the Duke University Center for AIDS Research (P30-AI064518) and grant R01-MH078731.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen J. Sikkema
    • 1
  • Melissa H. Watt
    • 2
  • Anya S. Drabkin
    • 1
  • Christina S. Meade
    • 2
    • 3
  • Nathan B. Hansen
    • 4
  • Brian W. Pence
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Psychology and NeuroscienceDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Global Health InstituteDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesDuke UniversityDurhamUSA
  4. 4.Yale University School of MedicineNew HavenUSA
  5. 5.Department of Community and Family MedicineDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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