Behavioral interventions for African Americans to reduce sexual risk of HIV: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2009 Aug 1;51(4):492-501. doi: 10.1097/QAI.0b013e3181a28121.


Context: African Americans constitute 13% of the US population yet account for nearly 50% of new HIV infections. Implementation of efficacious behavioral interventions can help reduce infections in this vulnerable population.

Objectives: To examine the efficacy of behavioral interventions to reduce HIV for African Americans among 78 randomized controlled trials that sampled at least 50% African Americans (N = 48,585, 81% African American), measured condom use or number of sexual partners, and provided sufficient information to calculate effect sizes.

Methods: Independent raters coded participant characteristics, design and methodological features, and intervention content. Weighted mean effect sizes, using both fixed- and random-effects models, were calculated; positive effect sizes indicated more condom use and fewer sexual partners.

Results: Compared with controls, participants who received an HIV risk reduction intervention improved condom use at short-term, intermediate, and long-term assessments; change was better among men who have sex with men and people already infected with HIV, and when interventions provided intensive content across multiple sessions. Intervention participants reduced their number of sexual partners in interventions with intensive interpersonal skills training and in younger samples, especially at delayed intervals.

Conclusions: Sexual risk reduction interventions for African Americans increased condom use without increasing the number of sexual partners. Translating these interventions and further enhancing them continue as a high priority.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans / psychology*
  • Child
  • Condoms
  • Counseling
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Reduction Behavior*
  • Sexual Behavior*