A systematic review of interventions for reducing HIV risk behaviors among people living with HIV in the United States, 1988-2012

AIDS. 2014 Mar 13;28(5):633-56. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000000108.


Objective: To conduct a systematic review to examine interventions for reducing HIV risk behaviors among people living with HIV (PLWH) in the United States.

Methods: Systematic searches included electronic databases from 1988 to 2012, hand searches of journals, reference lists of articles, and HIV/AIDS Internet listservs. Each eligible study was evaluated against the established criteria on study design, implementation, analysis, and strength of findings to assess the risk of bias and intervention effects.

Results: Forty-eight studies were evaluated. Fourteen studies (29%) with both low risk of bias and significant positive intervention effects in reducing HIV transmission risk behaviors were classified as evidence-based interventions (EBIs). Thirty-four studies were classified as non-EBIs due to high risk of bias or nonsignificant positive intervention effects. EBIs varied in delivery from brief prevention messages to intensive multisession interventions. The key components of EBIs included addressing HIV risk reduction behaviors, motivation for behavioral change, misconception about HIV, and issues related to mental health, medication adherence, and HIV transmission risk behavior.

Conclusion: Moving evidence-based prevention for PLWH into practice is an important step in making a greater impact on the HIV epidemic. Efficacious EBIs can serve as model programs for providers in healthcare and nonhealthcare settings looking to implement evidence-based HIV prevention. Clinics and public health agencies at the state, local, and federal levels can use the results of this review as a resource when making decisions that meet the needs of PLWH to achieve the greatest impact on the HIV epidemic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • Humans
  • Risk-Taking*
  • United States / epidemiology