Text messages may sustain post-counseling gains in behavioral improvements and reduce HIV/STI incidence. However, their effectiveness may depend on the messages' time perspective and characteristics of the individual. We evaluated the impact of time perspective on a text messaging intervention designed to maintain improvements in safer sex practices among drug-using and non-drug-using female sex workers (FSWs) in Tijuana (n = 141) and Cd. Juarez (n = 129), Mexico. FSWs received the efficacious Mujer Segura intervention, and were randomized to receive safer sex maintenance text messages with either a short-term or future-oriented time perspective. The outcome was HIV/STI incidence rate over 6-month follow-up. In Tijuana, combined HIV/STI incidence density was lower among FSWs in the FUTURE group (31.67 per 100 py) compared to women in the SHORT-TERM group (62.40 per 100 py). Conversely, in Cd. Juarez, HIV/STI incidence density was lower (although non-significant) among FSWs in the SHORT-TERM group (19.80 per 100 py) compared to those in the FUTURE group (35.05 per 100 py). These findings suggest that future-oriented text messages may sustain post-counseling improvements in sexual risk behavior among FSWs, but findings may vary by FSWs' characteristics (e.g., drug use), and by region and context.
Keywords: Behavior maintenance; Female sex workers; Mexico; Texting intervention; Time perspective.