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AIDS Behav. 2009 Jun;13(3):555-63. doi: 10.1007/s10461-008-9429-6. Epub 2008 Jul 15.

Randomized controlled trial of a cognitive-behavioral intervention for HIV-positive persons: an investigation of treatment effects on psychosocial adjustment.

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Department of Psychiatry, Health Psychology Program, University of California, San Francisco, 3333 California St., Suite 465, Box 0848, San Francisco, CA 94143-0848, USA.


Questions remain regarding the clinical utility of psychological interventions for HIV-positive persons because randomized controlled trials have utilized stringent inclusion criteria and focused extensively on gay men. The present randomized controlled trial examined the efficacy of a 15-session, individually delivered cognitive-behavioral intervention (n = 467) compared to a wait-list control (n = 469) in a diverse sample of HIV-positive persons who reported HIV transmission risk behavior. Five intervention sessions that dealt with executing effective coping responses were delivered between baseline and the 5 months post-randomization. Additional assessments were completed through 25 months post-randomization. Despite previously documented reductions in HIV transmission risk, no intervention-related changes in psychosocial adjustment were observed across the 25-month investigation period. In addition, there were no intervention effects on psychosocial adjustment among individuals who presented with mild to moderate depressive symptoms. More intensive mental health interventions may be necessary to improve psychosocial adjustment among HIV-positive individuals.

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