Objectives: The incidence of AIDS is increasing at a higher rate among homosexual Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) than white homosexual men in the United States. The number of homosexual API men engaging in unsafe sex is increasing at an alarming rate. HIV risk reduction is urgently needed in this population.
Subjects and methods: We developed and evaluated culturally appropriate brief group counseling with 329 self-identified homosexual API recruited in San Francisco between 1992 and 1994. Participants were randomized into a single, 3-h skills training group or a wait-list control group. The intervention consisted of four components: (1) development of positive self-identity and social support, (2) safer sex education, (3) eroticizing safer sex, and (4) negotiating safer sex. Data were collected at baseline and 3 months after the intervention.
Results: Significant reductions in number of sexual partners were observed among all treatment subjects, regardless of ethnicity (P = 0.003). Treatment decreased the number of partners reported at 3-month follow-up by 46% [95% confidence interval (CI), 28-77]. Chinese and Filipino men further benefited from the intervention: treatment subjects from these two ethnic groups reduced unprotected anal intercourse at follow-up by more than half when compared to their counterparts (odds ratio = 0.41; 95% CI, 0.19-0.89; P = 0.024).
Conclusions: We demonstrated the efficacy of brief group counseling in reducing HIV risk among homosexual API. Cities with significant API populations should adopt culturally tailored skills training as part of HIV prevention strategies for this group of homosexual men.