December 1, 2010
"Clinician-delivered prevention interventions offer an opportunity to integrate risk-reduction counseling as a routine part of medical care," explain the study authors. A randomized, controlled trial, the HIV Intervention for Providers study, developed and tested a provider-based HIV prevention training intervention in four northern California HIV treatment clinics.
Providers were assigned to either the intervention or a control condition (usual care). Participants in the intervention arm received a four-hour training on assessing sexual risk behavior with HIV-positive patients and delivering risk-reduction-oriented messages to patients who reported risk behaviors with partners of unknown or HIV-negative status. Efficacy of the intervention versus control on transmission risk behavior was compared by enrolling 386 patients of the randomized providers.
Over six-month follow-up, patients of the intervention-assigned providers reported a relative increase in provider-patient discussion of safer sex (odds ratio [OR]=1.49; 95 percent confidence interval [CI]=1.06 to 2.09), assessment of sexual activity (OR=1.60; 95 percent CI=1.05 to 2.45) and a significant decline in the number of sex partners (OR=0.49; 95 percent CI=0.26-0.92).
"These findings show that a brief intervention to train HIV providers to identify risk and provide a prevention message results in increased prevention conversations and significantly reduced the mean number of sexual partners reported by HIV-positive patients," the investigators concluded.