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Risk Reduction Counseling Is Associated With Decreased HIV Transmission-Associated Behaviors in High-Risk Indian Heterosexuals

Solomon, Sunil S. MBBS, MPH*; Solomon, Suniti MD*; Masse, Benoit R. PhD; Srikrishnan, A.K. BA*; Beauchamp, Geetha MS; Thamburaj, Easter MSW*; Gulvady, Menaka MA*; Anand, S. BSc, ADCA*; Mayer, Kenneth H. MD‡§

JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes: August 1st, 2006 - Volume 42 - Issue 4 - p 478-483
doi: 10.1097/01.qai.0000221684.83057.2f
Epidemiology and Social Science

Objective: To estimate the incidence of HIV and study the impact of risk-reduction counseling (RRC) in a cohort of people with high-risk behavior for HIV transmission in Chennai, India.

Design: Prospective cohort follow-up of 500 HIV-negative people (250 men and 250 women) at increased risk for HIV acquisition in Chennai, India for a maximum of 1 year was conducted. They received RRC at 0, 6, and 12 months. Generalized estimating equation methodology was used to determine the statistical significance of differences reported in behavior between baseline, 6 months, and 12 months.

Results: The overall HIV incidence in this cohort was 0.44 per 100 person-years (95% confidence interval: 0.05-1.60). In the course of the study, both male and female participants reported statistically significant decreases in the number of different sexual partners, the number of new partners, and the proportion of sexual encounters with nonprimary partners. Participants who had more than 3 different partners at baseline and/or exchanged money for sex in the 6 months before enrollment demonstrated the greatest reductions in the number of different sexual partners.

Conclusions: Individualized sexual RRC seems to be a useful intervention to reduce risk-taking behavior among at-risk heterosexuals in India.

From the *YR Gaitonde Center for AIDS Research and Education (YRG CARE), Chennai, India; †Statistical Center for HIV/AIDS Research and Prevention (SCHARP), Seattle, WA; ‡Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Miriam Hospital/Brown University, Providence, RI; and §Fenway Community Health, Boston, MA.

Received for publication May 18, 2005; accepted March 23, 2006.

This study was supported by the HIV Prevention Network (grant no. 1U01 A148040), the Brown Tufts University AIDS International Research and Training Program - Fogarty Center (grant no. TW00237). and the Lifespan-Brown Tufts Center for AIDS Research (grant no. P30 A142853). This article was supported, in part, by a fellowship/ grant for the Fogarty International Center/USNIH: Grant No. 2 D 43 trv000010-17-AITRP.

Reprints: Kenneth H. Mayer, MD, The Miriam Hospital, 164 Summit Avenue, Providence, RI 02906 (e-mail:

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.