WP 34 Barriers to Implementing a Risk-Reduction Plan Among MSM Participating in a Single-Session HIV Prevention Intervention

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
International Ballroom
Leigh Evans, MPH1, Kelsey Lawler, BA1, Andrea Moore, MPH2 and Judith Bradford, PhD1, 1The Fenway Institute, Fenway Health, Boston, MA, 2Program Evaluation Branch, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA

Background: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s High-Impact Prevention Approach focuses on maximizing the impact of HIV prevention strategies. Knowledge about participants’ perceptions of the effectiveness of risk reduction interventions and participants’ barriers to implementing risk-reduction strategies can help programs improve interventions.

Methods: MSM presenting for HIV testing at a community-based HIV testing site were recruited for a single-session risk-reduction intervention, RESPECT, which aims to increase participants’ perception of HIV risk and help them develop an achievable risk-reduction plan. From December 2012 through August 2013, participant-level information was collected for 104 clients at baseline, and a risk reduction plan was created that could include topics such as condom use, STD testing, and communication with partners. 3- and 6-month post-intervention data included perception of success in achieving risk-reduction plans and descriptions of barriers participants faced.

Results: Of 41 participants returning for the 3-month follow-up (80% of those eligible for 3-month follow-up), 93% (n=38) reported attempting to implement their plan. Of those, 95% felt they were successful at achieving it. 61% reported having no difficulty with their plan. When asked about barriers to implementing their plan, the most frequently reported barriers were being concerned about their partner’s(s’) reactions (12%) and forgetting about their plan (12%). At 6-month follow-up (n=19, 95% of those eligible for 6-month follow-up), 90% said they tried their plan; 94% felt successful. At this time point, only 47% reported having no difficulty with their plan. Again, the most prevalent barriers were concern about partner’s(s’) reactions (21%) and forgetting about the plan (21%).  

Conclusions: Single-session risk-reduction interventions targeting MSM can be successful at helping participants develop an achievable risk-reduction plan. To facilitate behavior change, counselors should reinforce the risk-reduction plan within the session and address the participant’s concerns about their partner’s(s’) reactions.