Telephone-Administered Motivational Interviewing to Reduce Risky Sexual Behavior in HIV-Infected Rural Persons: A Pilot Randomized Clinical Trial

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Background:Although several studies have characterized patterns and predictors of continued risky sexual behavior in HIV-infected rural persons, far less research has evaluated interventions to reduce risky sex in this group. This pilot randomized clinical trial compared 2 brief telephone-administered interventions designed to reduce continued risky sexual behaviors in HIV-infected rural persons.Methods:Participants were 79 HIV-infected rural persons who reported 1 or more occasions of unprotected anal, vaginal, or oral sex in the past 2 months. Participants were recruited through AIDS service organizations in rural areas of 27 states and assigned randomly to either a 2-session, motivational interviewing plus skills-building intervention (i.e., integrated intervention; n = 48) or a 2-session, skills-building only comparison intervention (n = 31). Participants completed self-report measures of sexual behaviors and factors related to risky sex at preintervention and 2-month follow-up.Results:Before enrolling into the intervention, 37% of participants had 2 or more sexual partners in the past 2 months, 29% had sex with 1 or more partners without knowing their partners' HIV serostatus, and almost one-third of participants located sex partners in high-risk environments (e.g., public parks, roadside rest areas). A 2 × 2 repeated measures multivariate analyses of variance found that integrated intervention participants reported greater increases in risk-reduction motivation and greater increases in condom-protected vaginal and oral intercourse occasions at follow-up compared to skills-building only participants.Conclusions:Brief telephone-administered interventions that integrate motivational interviewing with skills-building show potential to reduce risky sexual behaviors in HIV-infected rural persons. Additional and large-scale evaluations of this intervention approach appear warranted.

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