Context: The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommend comprehensive risk counceling and services for people living with HIV (PLH); yet, there are no evidence-based counseling protocols.
Objective: To examine the effect of a 15-session, individually delivered, cognitive behavioral intervention on a diverse sample of PLH at risk of transmitting to others.
Design: This was a multisite, 2-group, randomized, controlled trial.
Participants: Nine hundred thirty-six HIV-infected participants considered to be at risk of transmitting HIV of 3818 persons screened were randomized into the trial. Participants were recruited in Los Angeles, Milwaukee, New York, and San Francisco.
Intervention: Fifteen 90-minute individually delivered intervention sessions were divided into 3 modules: stress, coping, and adjustment; safer behaviors; and health behaviors. The control group received no intervention until the trial was completed. Both groups completed follow-up assessments at 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 months after randomization.
Main Outcome Measure: Transmission risk, as measured by the number of unprotected sexual risk acts with persons of HIV-negative or unknown status, was the main outcome measure.
Results: Overall, a significance difference in mean transmission risk acts was shown between the intervention and control arms over 5 to 25 months (χ2 = 16.0, degrees of freedom = 5; P = 0.007). The greatest reduction occurred at the 20-month follow-up, with a 36% reduction in the intervention group compared with the control group.
Conclusion: Cognitive behavioral intervention programs can effectively reduce the potential of HIV transmission to others among PLH who report significant transmission risk behavior.