American Journal of Public Health Vol. 101; No. 9: P.e9-e17
The study authors "examined the effects of a brief counseling
intervention designed to reduce HIV risk behaviors and
sexually transmitted infections among patients receiving STI
services in Cape Town, South Africa."
Participants were randomized to either a 60-minute risk
reduction counseling session or a 20-minute HIV-STI
educational session, completing computerized sexual behavior
assessments afterwards. At 12-month follow-up, participant
retention was more than 85 percent.
Participants who received risk reduction counseling reported
24 percent fewer incident STIs and significant reductions in
unprotected vaginal and anal intercourse, compared to members
of the control condition. "Moderator analyses showed shorter-
lived outcomes for heavy alcohol drinkers than for lighter
drinkers. The results were not moderated by gender," the team
"Brief single-session HIV prevention counseling delivered to
STI clinic patients has the potential to reduce HIV
infections. Counseling should be enhanced for heavier
drinkers, and sustained outcomes will require relapse
prevention techniques," the authors concluded, noting that
"disseminating effective, brief and feasible behavioral
interventions to those at highest risk for HIV infection
should remain a public health priority."