Funder: Gilead Foundation
Project period: 09/01/2006 - 02/29/2008
Grant Type: Research
Recent increases in HIV diagnoses, sexually transmitted infections, and risk behavior indicate that there is a need to identify effective prevention services integrated within the HIV primary care and treatment settings to reduce transmission risk behavior among HIV positive individuals. For two reasons, this is particularly the case for those newly diagnosed with HIV infection. First, this event provides a window of opportunity, as the time immediately after an HIV diagnosis is a critical period for risk reduction, especially for men. Second, HIV infected persons are most infectious and thus most likely to transmit the infection to others when they are recently infected. The purpose of this project would be to conduct an evaluation of a Brief Risk Reduction (BRR) pilot prevention program among newly diagnosed HIV-infected men who have sex with men (MSM) and receive care at the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in New York City. Our goal would be to determine the feasibility of this program, provided within the care and treatment setting, to reduce sexual transmission risk behavior of newly diagnosed HIV-positive MSM. The program will be implemented by HIV clinic counselors and follow an initial physician visit. The program content will be focused on developing a tailored plan for transmission risk reduction, including sexual and substance use behavior, coping with the new diagnosis, decision making regarding disclosure, and enhancing motivation for health care. If successful, this program will integrate risk reduction within the context of personalized, relevant medical treatment, enhance the uptake of health-protective information and behavior change, and allow for preventive interventions to be normative in the care setting.