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A randomized trial of a behavioral intervention for black MSM: the DiSH study

Koblin, Beryl A.a; Bonner, Sebastianb; Powell, Borrisc; Metralexis, Peterd; Egan, James E.b; Patterson, Jocelyne; Xu, Guozhena; Hoover, Donald R.f; Goodman, Kristaa; Chin, Johng; Tieu, Hong V.a; Spikes, Pilgrime

doi: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e32834f9833
Epidemiology and Social

Objective: To test a new behavioral intervention for black MSM in reducing sexual risk and increasing social support and intentions to use condoms.

Design: A single-site, unblinded randomized trial in New York City with 3-month follow-up.

Methods: Participants (n = 283) reporting at least two sexual partners and unprotected anal intercourse with a man in the past 3 months were enrolled and randomized to a social-cognitive theory-based intervention or control comparison. Men in the intervention group participated in five 2-h group sessions focused on creating a group environment with sexual risk-reduction information and exercises woven into joint meal preparation and sharing activities, while exploring self-efficacy perceptions and outcome expectancies. Intervention (n = 142) and control (n = 141) groups received standard HIV counseling and testing at baseline.

Results: No significant differences were found between study arms at 3 months in number of male partners, number of unprotected anal intercourse partners, proportion reporting unprotected sex, number of acts protected by condoms, self-efficacy, condom attitudes, condom intentions, social isolation and psychological distress. In both arms combined, declines from baseline to 3 months were observed in sexual risk behaviors, social isolation and psychological distress, whereas self-efficacy, condom attitudes and condom intentions improved.

Conclusion: As the HIV epidemic continues to have a dramatic impact on black MSM in the USA, the urgency to design innovative interventions continues.

aLaboratory of Infectious Disease Prevention, Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute, New York Blood Center

bThe New York Academy of Medicine

cIndependent Consultant

dThe Educational Alliance, New York

eCenters for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia

fDepartment of Statistics and Biostatistics and Institute for Health, Healthcare Policy and Aging Research, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Piscataway, New Jersey

gHunter College, City University of New York, New York, USA.

Correspondence to Beryl A. Koblin, PhD, Laboratory of Infectious Disease Prevention, Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute, New York Blood Center, 310 East 67th Street, New York, NY 10065, USA. Tel: +1 212 570 3105; fax: +1 212 861 5873; e-mail:

Received 11 July, 2011

Revised 7 November, 2011

Accepted 23 November, 2011

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.