Even in the presence of promising biomedical treatment as prevention, HIV incidence among men who have sex with men has not always decreased. Counseling interventions, therefore, continue to play an important role in reducing HIV sexual transmission behaviors among gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men. The present study evaluated effects of a small-group counseling intervention on psychosocial outcomes and HIV sexual risk behavior.
HIV-positive (HIV+) peer counselors administered seven 2-hour counseling sessions to groups of 5 to 8 HIV+ gay and bisexual men. The intervention employed information provision, motivational interviewing, and behavioral skills building to reduce sexual transmission risk behaviors.
There was a significant reduction in condomless anal sex (CAS) with HIV-negative and unknown HIV-status partners, from 50.0% at baseline to 28.9% of the sample at 3-month follow-up. Findings were robust even when controlling for whether the participant had an undetectable viral load at baseline. Significant reductions were also found in the two secondary psychosocial outcomes, loneliness and sexual compulsivity.
The findings provide preliminary evidence that this intervention may offer an efficient way of concurrently reducing CAS and mental health problems, such as sexual compulsivity and loneliness, for HIV+ gay and bisexual men.
Hart TA, Stratton N, Coleman TA, Wilson HA, Simpson SH, Julien RE, et al. (2016) A Pilot Trial of a Sexual Health Counseling Intervention for HIV-Positive Gay and Bisexual Men Who Report Anal Sex without Condoms. PLoS ONE 11(4): e0152762. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0152762