Risk Reduction for HIV-Positive African American and Latino Men with Histories of Childhood Sexual Abuse
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While the HIV epidemic has disproportionately affected African American and Latino men who have sex with men (MSM), few HIV prevention interventions have focused on African American and Latino men who have sex with both men and women (MSMW). Even fewer interventions target HIV-positive African American and Latino MSM and MSMW with histories of childhood sexual abuse (CSA), a population that may be vulnerable to high-risk sexual behaviors, having multiple sexual partners, and depression. The Men’s Health Project, a small randomized clinical trial, compared the effects of two 6-session interventions, the Sexual Health Intervention for Men (S-HIM), guided by social learning theory and aimed at decreasing high-risk sexual behaviors, number of sexual partners, and depressive symptoms, and a standard health promotion control (SHP). A community sample of 137 HIV-positive gay and non-gay identifying African American and Latino MSM and MSMW with histories of CSA was recruited. Results were based on an “intent to treat” analyses of baseline to post, 3 and 6 month follow-ups. The sample as a whole reported reductions in sexual risk behaviors and number of sexual partners from baseline to post-test, and from the 3 to 6 month follow-ups, although the decrease in sexual risk behavior from baseline to post-test was significant only for S-HIM participants. No significant differences between conditions were reported for depressive symptoms, but the total sample reported a significant decrease at 6 months. These findings highlight the importance of addressing sexual decision-making and psychological adjustment for ethnic men, while being sensitive to CSA histories and sexual minority status, and suggest the need to develop additional strategies to heighten HIV risk reduction over time.