Objectives: We evaluated the efficacy of HIV behavioral interventions for African American females in the United States, and we identified factors associated with intervention efficacy.
Methods: We conducted a comprehensive literature review covering studies published from January 1988 to June 2007, which yielded 37 relevant studies. Data were analyzed using mixed-effects models and meta-regression.
Results: Overall, behavioral interventions had a significant impact on reductions in HIV-risk sex behaviors (odds ratio [OR] = 0.63; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.54, 0.75; n = 11 239; Cochrane Q(32) = 84.73; P < .001) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs; OR = 0.81; 95% CI = 0.67, 0.98; n = 8760; Cochrane Q(16) = 22.77; P = .12). Greater intervention efficacy was observed in studies that specifically targeted African American females used gender- or culture-specific materials, used female deliverers, addressed empowerment issues, provided skills training in condom use and negotiation of safer sex, and used role-playing to teach negotiation skills.
Conclusions: Behavioral interventions are efficacious at preventing HIV and STIs among African American females. More research is needed to examine the potential contribution of prevention strategies that attend to community-level and structural-level factors affecting HIV infection and transmission in this population.