AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 21, Issue 9, pp 2641–2649 | Cite as

Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of Acceptance-Based Behavior Therapy to Promote HIV Acceptance, HIV Disclosure, and Retention in Medical Care

  • Ethan MoitraEmail author
  • Andrea LaPlante
  • Megan L. Armstrong
  • Philip A. Chan
  • Michael D. Stein
Original Paper


HIV patients who are not retained in medical care risk viral resistance, disease progression to AIDS, and mortality. Numerous interventions have been tested to improve retention, but they are limited by their resource-intensive approaches and lack of focus on new patients, who are at highest risk for drop-out. Data show that acceptance and disclosure of HIV status might impact retention, yet these variables have not been targeted in previous interventions. In this pilot randomized controlled trial, we assessed feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of a brief, 2-session acceptance based behavior therapy (ABBT), relative to treatment-as-usual (TAU), in 34 new-to-care HIV patients. ABBT attendance was high and patient feedback was positive. Relative to TAU, ABBT had significant positive effects on retention, as well as putative mechanisms of action, including experiential avoidance of HIV, willingness to make and actual disclosures of HIV status, and perceived social support. Further testing of ABBT is warranted. Trial registered at; Clinical Trial #NCT02004457.


HIV/AIDS Retention Acceptance Disclosure 



Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R34 MH098694 to Drs. Moitra and Stein. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Louisiana State University - Health Sciences CenterNew OrleansUSA
  3. 3.The Miriam HospitalProvidenceUSA
  4. 4.Butler HospitalProvidenceUSA
  5. 5.Boston University School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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