AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 554–563 | Cite as

What HIV-Positive MSM Want from Sexual Risk Reduction Interventions: Findings from a Qualitative Study

  • Peter A. VanableEmail author
  • Michael P. Carey
  • Jennifer L. Brown
  • Rae A. Littlewood
  • Rebecca Bostwick
  • Donald Blair
Original Paper


To facilitate the development of a tailored intervention that meets the needs of HIV-positive men who have sex with men (HIV-positive MSM), we conducted formative research with 52 HIV-positive MSM. We sought to (a) identify major barriers to consistent condom use, (b) characterize their interest in sexual risk reduction interventions, and (c) elicit feedback regarding optimal intervention format. Men identified several key barriers to consistent condom use, including treatment optimism, lessened support for safer sex in the broader gay community, challenges communicating with partners, and concerns about stigmatization following serostatus disclosure. Many men expressed an interest in health promotion programming, but did not want to participate in an intervention focusing exclusively on safer sex. Instead, they preferred a supportive group intervention that addresses other coping challenges as well as sexual risk reduction. Study results reveal important considerations for the development of appealing and efficacious risk reduction interventions for HIV-positive MSM.


HIV-positive Men who have sex with men HIV prevention intervention Sexual risk reduction intervention development 



This research was supported by NIMH Grant R21-MH65865. Jennifer L. Brown is supported by K12 GM000680 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. The authors thank the Infectious Disease Clinic staff and patients at SUNY Upstate Medical University for their support of this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter A. Vanable
    • 1
    Email author
  • Michael P. Carey
    • 1
  • Jennifer L. Brown
    • 2
  • Rae A. Littlewood
    • 3
  • Rebecca Bostwick
    • 1
  • Donald Blair
    • 4
  1. 1.Center for Health & Behavior, Department of PsychologySyracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA
  2. 2.Department of Behavioral Sciences & Health EducationEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  3. 3.The Mind InstituteUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA
  4. 4.SUNY Upstate Medical UniversitySyracuseUSA

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