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UCSF study finds clinic-based HIV prevention is effective in reducing risk behaviors
Date:3/24/2010

UCSF researchers have shown that delivering HIV prevention services to people living with HIV in clinical settings can sharply reduce their sexual risk behaviors.

The findings are available now in the online edition of the journal "AIDS and Behavior" and are scheduled for publication in an upcoming print issue.

"We found the greatest and most sustained reductions in sexual risk took place when the prevention interventions were delivered by medical care providers during HIV patients' routine visits. An important feature of this research is that it was conducted in actual clinical settings and not in the somewhat artificial setting of a clinical trial," said the study's lead author, Janet J. Myers, PhD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine at the UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies and co-principal investigator of the project.

When they received risk assessment prevention counseling from their clinical providers, HIV patients showed a consistent decline in risky behavior over the 12-month study period. The researchers saw HIV patients cut almost in half their sexual risk behaviors: unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse with either a HIV-negative partner or one whose status was unknown. HIV patients receiving services from health educators, social workers or peer educators also significantly reduced risk behaviors at 6 months, but not at 12 months.

"Other studies testing behavioral prevention interventions have demonstrated that boosters delivered at periodic intervals assist in sustaining behavior changes. Since patients see their medical providers regularly to monitor disease and therapeutic regimens, delivering prevention services during these visits is not only exceedingly effective in reducing risk behaviors, but is likely to be highly cost-effective," said Steve Morin, PhD, professor of medicine and director of the UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies and the study's principal investigator.

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Contact: Jeff Sheehy
jsheehy@ari.ucsf.edu
415-597-8165
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

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