Group counseling to prevent sexually transmitted disease and HIV: a randomized controlled trial

Sex Transm Dis. 1998 Nov;25(10):553-60. doi: 10.1097/00007435-199811000-00011.


Objective: To compare prevention effectiveness of multisession group counseling with standard HIV prevention counseling for reducing risk behaviors and new sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Methods: Small groups of consenting STD clinic patients were randomized to four 1-hour small group counseling interventions based on the information-motivation-behavioral skills (IMB) model with a booster session at 2 months or to the standard two 20-minute individual counseling sessions. Follow-up interviews and examinations were 2, 6, 9, and 12 months after enrollment.

Results: From March 1992 through June 1993, 996 (59%) of 1,681 eligible persons were enrolled; 32 (3%) tested HIV-positive and were excluded. Intervention attendance was 98% for one session, and 47% attended four or five counseling sessions. Follow-up was similar for both groups: 72% attended at least once; 47% returned at 12 months. Both groups had similar increases in condom use and decreases in number of partners, and similar number of new infections with gonorrhea (14%), chlamydia (10%), or syphilis (2%).

Conclusions: Two 20-minute counseling sessions were as effective as four 1-hour group sessions for reducing risk behavior and STD incidence in an STD clinic patient population.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Counseling*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*