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Psychological factors turn young adults away from HIV intervention counseling
Date:3/31/2014

PHILADELPHIA (March 31, 2014) Keeping young people in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention programs is a major goal in reducing the incidence of HIV, and multi-session interventions are often more effective than single-sessions. But according to a new study from the Annenberg School for Communication, the way these programs are designed and implemented may turn off the very people they are trying to help.

The study, "Motivational barriers to retention of at-risk young adults in HIV-prevention interventions: perceived pressure and efficacy," is published in AIDS Care: Psychological and Socio-medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV. Authors include Jiaying Liu, Christopher Jones, Kristina Wilson, Marta R. Durantini, and Dolores Albarracn, all with the Annenberg School for Communication; and William Livingood, Florida Department of Health, Duval County, Jacksonville, Fla.

The newly-published study is part of a larger research project on retention in HIV-prevention counseling conducted with community members at risk for HIV in northern Florida. Duval County remains fourth in sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates among Florida's 67 counties. Presently, Duval is faced with a 25 percent increase in reported HIV/AIDS cases, escalating STI/HIV co-infections, increasing STI infections in pregnant women, increasing repeat STI infections, and continued levels of unacceptable STI rates. The alarming rates of infection are complicated high rates of poverty and racial segregation issues in Duval County.

Understanding barriers to retention is necessary to reduce morbidity and improve health outcomes for Duval residents. The study investigated three potential motivational barriers that might affect the likelihood of retention among a vulnerable population with high levels of risk behavior: perceived pressure, perceived efficacy and fear.

According to the study, when young adults (18-35 years old) feel pressured or coerced by HIV
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Contact: Joseph J. Diorio
jdiorio@asc.upenn.edu
215-746-1798
University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School for Communication
Source:Eurekalert

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