April 20, 2010
Toward the goal of informing HIV and sexually transmitted infection prevention programs, the researchers set out to examine behavioral risks and behavioral changes associated with testing HIV-positive among a population of STI clinic patients.
The subjects of the cohort study were 29 STI patients who seroconverted from HIV-negative to HIV-positive during one year of observation, along with 77 STI patients who consistently tested HIV-negative. At baseline and at one year, computerized behavioral interviews were collected, and STI clinic charts were abstracted over the same one-year period.
"The STI patients who reported genital bleeding during sexual activity at baseline were significantly more likely to test HIV-positive," the authors reported. "Reductions in number of sexual partners and rates of unprotected intercourse occurred for all STI clinic patients regardless of whether they tested HIV-positive."
"Although risk reductions occurred, 5 percent of HIV-negative STI clinic patients subsequently tested HIV-positive over one year. Behavioral risk-reduction interventions are urgently needed for male and female STI clinic patients," the researchers concluded.