Sexual Risk Reduction for Persons Living With HIV: Research Synthesis of Randomized Controlled Trials, 1993 to 2004

Johnson, Blair T. PhD*; Carey, Michael P. PhD†; Chaudoir, Stephenie R. BA*; Reid, Allecia E. BA‡

JAIDS Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes:
doi: 10.1097/01.qai.0000194495.15309.47
Epidemiology and Social Science

Objective: To conduct a meta-analytic review of interventions to reduce HIV+ individuals' sexual risk.

Design: Studies were included if they examined a deliberate sexual risk-reduction strategy in a sample that included HIV+ participants, used a randomized controlled trial design, measured condom use or number of sexual partners after the intervention, and provided sufficient information to calculate effect size (ES) estimates.

Method: Reports were gathered from computerized databases, by contacting individual researchers, by searching relevant journals and conference proceedings, and by reviewing reference sections of obtained papers. Data from 15 studies (N = 3234 participants) available as of November 30, 2004 were included. ES estimates were standardized mean differences.

Results: Across the studies, intervention participants exhibited lowered sexual risk relative to control participants on condom use (mean ES = 0.16, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.08 to 0.25) but not for number of sexual partners (mean ES = −0.01, 95% CI: −0.16 to 0.14). Interventions were more successful at increasing condom use if the sample included fewer men who have sex with men (MSM) or younger participants and when interventions included motivational and skills components.

Conclusions: Behavioral interventions reduced sexual risk especially if they included motivational and skills components. Such interventions have been less effective for older samples, suggesting the need for further refinement to enhance their efficacy. Motivation-and skill-based interventions have not yet been tested with HIV+ MSM who, in general, seem to have benefited less from extant risk-reduction interventions.

Author Information

From the *Center for Health/HIV Intervention and Prevention, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT; †Center for Health and Behavior, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY; and ‡Department of Psychology, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.

Recieved for publication April 19, 2005; accepted October 21, 2005.

Supported by National Institutes of Health grants R01-MH58563 to B. T. Johnson and K02-MH01582 to M. P. Carey.

Reprints: Blair T. Johnson, Center for Health/HIV Intervention and Prevention, 2006 Hillside Road, Unit 1248, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-1248 (e-mail:

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.