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J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2002 Jun 1;30(2):177-86.

Changing sexual behavior among gay male repeat testers for HIV: a randomized, controlled trial of a single-session intervention.

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AIDS Health Project (UCSF-AHP), San Francisco, CA 94143-0884, USA.



High-risk sexual behavior is increasingly prevalent among men who have sex with men (MSM) and among men with a history of repeat testing for HIV.


The study assessed whether one counseling intervention session focusing on self-justifications (thoughts, attitudes, or beliefs that allow the participant to engage in high-risk sexual behaviors) at most recent unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) is effective in reducing future high-risk behaviors among HIV-negative men.


A randomized, controlled, counseling intervention trial was conducted at an anonymous testing site in San Francisco, California, between May 1997 and January 2000. Participants were 248 MSM with a history of at least one previous negative HIV test result and self-reported UAI (receptive or insertive) in the previous 12 months with partners of unknown or discordant HIV status. Two intervention groups received standard HIV test counseling plus a cognitive-behavioral intervention, and two control groups received only standard HIV test counseling. Follow-up evaluation was at 6 and 12 months.


Number of episodes of UAI with nonprimary partners (of unknown or discordant HIV status) in the 90 days preceding the interview was measured via self-report during face-to-face interview.


A novel counseling intervention focusing on self-justifications significantly decreased the proportion of participants reporting UAI with nonprimary partners of unknown or discordant HIV status at 6 and 12 months (from 66% to 21% at 6 months and to 26% at 12 months, p =.002; p <.001) as compared with a control group when added to standard client-centered HIV counseling and testing.


A specific, single-session counseling intervention focusing on a reevaluation of a person's self-justifications operant during a recent occasion of high-risk behavior may prove useful in decreasing individual risk behavior and thus limiting community-level HIV transmission.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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