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AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2009 May;23(5):347-56. doi: 10.1089/apc.2008.0063.

HIV medical care provider practices for reducing high-risk sexual behavior: results of a qualitative study.

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  • 1Department of Health Policy and Management, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, USA.


A first step in ensuring that HIV-infected persons practice the safer sexual behaviors that reduce disease transmission is to make certain that they receive accurate information about the relationship between sexual risk behaviors and HIV transmission. Health care providers can play a pivotal role in preventing secondary transmission of HIV; federal agencies and professional guidelines encourage providers to counsel HIV-infected patients about safer sex practices and transmission risks, particularly since the health care encounter may be the only time that HIV-infected persons receive information about prevention and risk reduction interventions. Yet research indicates that these opportunities are often missed. Prior to implementing a prevention demonstration project in an urban HIV and STD clinic, we conducted a qualitative investigation with providers, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and nurses. The purpose of this investigation was to examine the current status of prevention education and counseling efforts at the clinic, examine the barriers and facilitators to providing prevention counseling, and identify key areas where providers believed that they needed additional training.

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