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Psychol Health Med. 2010 Dec;15(6):694-719. doi: 10.1080/13548506.2010.498892.

Are we going to close social gaps in HIV? Likely effects of behavioral HIV-prevention interventions on health disparities.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Champaign, IL, USA. dalbarra@ufl.edu


Although experimental behavioral interventions to prevent HIV are generally designed to correct undesirable epidemiological trends, it is presently unknown whether the resulting body of behavioral interventions is adequate to correct the social disparities in HIV-prevalence and incidence present in the United States. Two large, diverse-population meta-analytic databases were reanalyzed to estimate potential perpetuation and change in demographic and behavioral gaps as a result of introducing the available behavioral interventions advocating condom use. This review suggested that, if uniformly applied across populations, the analyzed set of experimental (i.e. under testing) interventions is well poised to correct the higher prevalence and incidence among males (vs. females) and African-Americans and Latinos (vs. other groups), but ill poised to correct the higher prevalence and incidence among younger (vs. older) people, as well as men who have sex with men, injection-drug users, and multiple partner heterosexuals (vs. other behavioral groups). Importantly, when the characteristics of the interventions most efficacious for each population were included in the analyses of behavior change, results replicated with three exceptions. Specifically, after accounting for interactions of intervention and facilitator features with characteristics of the recipient population (e.g. gender), there was no behavior change bias for men who have sex with men, younger individuals changed their behavior more than older individuals, and African-Americans changed their behavior less than other groups.

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