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Feasibility and Promise of a Couple-Based HIV/STI Preventive Intervention for Methamphetamine-Using, Black Men Who have Sex with Men

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Accumulating evidence supports couple-based approaches for HIV/STI preventive interventions. Yet, to date, no studies have examined couple-based sexual risk reductions intervention specifically for men who have sex with men (MSM) from populations with elevated rates of HIV/STI transmission, such as black MSM and methamphetamine-involved MSM. We pilot tested—using a pre-/post-test design—a seven-session couple-based intervention for black, methamphetamine-using, black MSM couples engaging in sexual risk. Feasibility was assessed via recruitment and retention rates; potential efficacy relied on self-reported sexual risk and drug use prior to and two months following intervention delivery. We enrolled 34 couples (N = 68 men). Over 80% attended all seven intervention sessions, and retention exceeded 95% at two-month follow-up. At follow-up, participants reported significantly fewer sexual partners, fewer episodes of unprotected anal sex, and greater condom use with their main partner; participants also reported significantly less methamphetamine use, any illicit drug use, and number of illicit drugs used. These findings indicate that couple-based HIV/STI intervention is feasible and promising for at-risk black MSM couples.

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This study was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Cooperative Agreement number UR6PS000300. We would like to thank GMHC and its staff for their support and assistance. We are also grateful for the contributions of Dale Frett, Jordan White, Wayne Johnson, Ilya Teplinskiy, as well as the participants and couples, without whom this work would not have been possible. The content presented in this article is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of CDC, Harlem United, or the Columbia University School of Social Work.

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Correspondence to Elwin Wu.

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The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Wu, E., El-Bassel, N., Donald McVinney, L. et al. Feasibility and Promise of a Couple-Based HIV/STI Preventive Intervention for Methamphetamine-Using, Black Men Who have Sex with Men. AIDS Behav 15, 1745–1754 (2011).

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