Objective: This study reports the results of a behavior change intervention offered to women at high risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection seen in an urban primary health care clinic.
Methods: Participants were 197 women randomly assigned to either an HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) risk reduction group or a comparison group. Women in the HIV/AIDS intervention group attended five group sessions focusing on risk education; skills training in condom use, sexual assertiveness, problem solving, and risk trigger self-management; and peer support for change efforts. Women in the comparison group attended sessions on health topics unrelated to AIDS.
Results: At the 3-month follow-up, women in the HIV/AIDS intervention group had increased in sexual communication and negotiation skills. Unprotected sexual intercourse had declined significantly and condom use had increased from 26% to 56% of all intercourse occasions. Women in the comparison group showed no change.
Conclusions: Socially disadvantaged women can be assisted in reducing their risk of contracting HIV infection. Risk reduction behavior change interventions should be offered routinely in primary health care clinics serving low-income and high-risk patients.