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 BEHAVIOR CHANGE

SafeTalk, a multicomponent, motivational interviewing-based, safer sex counseling program for people living with HIV/AIDS: a qualitative assessment of patients' views.

Golin (2010)
Summary by 

With the continued transmission of HIV each year, novel approaches to HIV prevention are needed. Since 2003, the U.S. HIV prevention focus has shifted from primarily targeting HIV-negative at-risk persons to including safer sex programs for people already infected with HIV. At least 20-30% of people infected with HIV engage in risky sexual practices. Based on these data, policymakers have recommended that interventionists develop strategies to help HIV-infected people reduce their risky sexual behaviors. In the past, the few safer sex interventions that targeted HIV-infected people met with limited success because they basically adapted strategies previously used with HIV-uninfected individuals. In addition, often these adaptations did not address issues of serostatus disclosure, HIV stigma, or motivation to protect others from HIV. We had previously tested, in a demonstration project named the Start Talking About Risks (STAR) Program, a monthly three-session motivational interviewing (MI)-based intervention to help people living with HIV practice safer sex. In this study, we refined that program by enhancing its frequency and intensity and adding written and audio components to support the counseling. We theorized that an intervention such as MI, which is tailored to each individuals circumstances more than standardized prevention messages, would be more successful when supplemented with other components. We qualitatively assessed participants perceptions, reactions, and preferences to the refined prevention with positives counseling program we called SafeTalk and learned that participants found the SafeTalk MI counseling and educational materials appealing, understandable, and relevant to their lives.