Objectives: To assess the effectiveness of an intervention for providing information and support to HIV-positive donors on changes in their sexual behavior, and to assess which donor characteristics are predictive of behavior change.
Design: Subjects were randomly assigned to a structured intervention or community referral group. Follow-up assessments were conducted every 6 months.
Setting: New York City, New York, USA.
Participants: A cohort of 271 HIV-infected persons who donated blood to the New York Blood Center.
Intervention: Donors randomized to the structured intervention program met individually with a nurse for counseling and were offered a six-session support group. The program was designed to provide information, encourage safer sexual behavior and provide support.
Main outcome measures: Sexual behavior, psychological distress and psychological help seeking, and immune function.
Results: In both groups there was a large decrease over time in reports of unsafe sexual activity. However, more than 30% of participants in both groups reported unsafe sexual activity at the 1-year follow-up visit. Donors randomized to the structured intervention program did not report significantly more behavior change at the 1-year follow-up.
Conclusions: Better programs to promote behavior change in seropositive individuals are needed.