Effect of brief safer-sex counseling by medical providers to HIV-1 seropositive patients: a multi-clinic assessment


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Abstract

Objective:To test the efficacy of brief, safer-sex counseling by medical providers of HIV-positive patients during medical visits.Setting:Six HIV clinics in California.Design:Clinics were randomized to intervention arms evaluated with cohorts of randomly selected patients measured before and after the intervention.Participants:Five-hundred and eighty-five HIV-positive persons, sexually active prior to enrollment.Interventions:Prevention counseling from medical providers supplemented with written information. Two clinics used a gain-framed approach (positive consequences of safer-sex), two used a loss-frame approach (negative consequences of unsafe sex), and two were attention-control clinics (medication adherence). Interventions were given to all patients who attended the clinics.Outcome measure:Self-reported unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse (UAV).Results:Among participants who had two or more sex partners at baseline, UAV was reduced 38% (P < 0.001) among those who received the loss-frame intervention. UAV at follow-up was significantly lower in the loss-frame arm [odds ratio (OR), 0.42; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.19–0.91; P = 0.03] compared with the control arm. Using generalized estimating equations (GEE) to adjust for clustering did not change the conclusions (OR, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.24–0.49; P = 0.0001). Similar results were obtained in participants with casual partners at baseline. No effects were seen in participants with only one partner or only a main partner at baseline. No significant changes were seen in the gain-frame arm.Conclusions:Brief provider counseling emphasizing the negative consequences of unsafe sex can reduce HIV transmission behaviors in HIV-positive patients presenting with risky behavioral profiles.

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