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Am J Public Health. 2001 Mar;91(3):400-5.

Efficacy of a preventive intervention for youths living with HIV.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of California, Los Angeles, USA.



HIV transmission behaviors and health practices of HIV-infected youths were examined over a period of 15 months after they received a preventive intervention.


HIV-infected youths aged 13 to 24 years (n = 310; 27% African American, 37% Latino) were assigned by small cohort to (1) a 2-module ("Stay Healthy" and "Act Safe") intervention totaling 23 sessions or (2) a control condition. Among those in the intervention condition, 73% attended at least 1 session.


Subsequent to the "Stay Healthy" module, number of positive lifestyle changes and active coping styles increased more often among females who attended the intervention condition than among those in the control condition. Social support coping also increased significantly among males and females attending the intervention condition compared with those attending the control condition. Following the "Act Safe" module, youths who attended the intervention condition reported 82% fewer unprotected sexual acts, 45% fewer sexual partners, 50% fewer HIV-negative sexual partners, and 31% less substance use, on a weighted index, than those in the control condition.


Prevention programs can effectively reduce risk acts among HIV-infected youths. Alternative formats need to be identified for delivering interventions (e.g., telephone groups, individual sessions).

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