Theoretical Approaches to Individual-Level Change in HIV Risk Behavior

  • Jeffrey D. Fisher
  • William A. Fisher
Part of the Aids Prevention and Mental Health book series (APMH)


Over the course of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic, large numbers of HIV prevention interventions have been implemented in a broad array of settings. Unfortunately, there typically has been an enormous gap between what is known about effective HIV prevention interventions and HIV prevention practice as typically implemented.1 To date, the vast majority of interventions targeting groups that practice high-risk behavior have been enacted by the public health sector and are government-funded projects. Generally, these are either implemented directly by state or provincial health departments, or funded by them and administered by community-based organizations (CBOs). All too often, neither behavioral scientists nor well-tested theories of behavior change are incorporated into the intervention design process,2,3 and rigorous evaluations of the efficacy of these programs are rare. A large number of additional HIV prevention interventions have been undertaken by the public schools,4 and in many jurisdictions there are laws mandating that HIV education be provided but without stipulations concerning how this should be done. Primary and secondary educational institutions generally have fielded extremely weak, atheoretical interventions designed not to offend the religious right wing, with content that is highly unlikely to effectively change HIV risk behavior.4 Until recently, of the entire “portfolio” of HIV prevention interventions that have been implemented, most have focused primarily —and in many cases solely—on providing information about HIV. Such information consistently has been shown to be unrelated to HIV risk behavior change.5–8


Human Immunodeficiency Virus Health Belief Model Preventive Behavior Human Immunodeficiency Virus Prevention Human Immunodeficiency Virus Risk 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey D. Fisher
    • 1
  • William A. Fisher
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for HIV Intervention and Prevention, Department of PsychologyUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  2. 2.Social Science CenterUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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