Effects of a short individually tailored counselling session for HIV prevention in gay and bisexual men receiving Hepatitis B vaccination

Wolfers, Mireille E. G.; de^Wit, John B. F.; Hospers, Harm J.; Richardus, Jan H.; de Zwart, Onno
January 2009
BMC Public Health;2009, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p255
Academic Journal
Background: There is currently a trend towards unsafe unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) among men who have sex with men. We evaluated a short individual counselling session on reducing UAI among gay and bisexual men. Methods: A quasi-experimental design was used to evaluate the counselling session. This session was conducted during consulting hours at four municipal health clinics during a Hepatitis B vaccination campaign. These clinics offered free vaccination to high-risk groups, such as gay and bisexual men. All gay and bisexual men attending health clinics in four cities in the Netherlands were asked to participate. Each participant in the intervention group received a fifteen-minute individual counselling based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour and Motivational Interviewing. Changes in UAI were measured over a 5-months period, using self-administered questionnaires. UAI was measured separately for receptive and insertive intercourse in steady and casual partners. These measures were combined in an index-score (range 0-8). Results: While UAI in the counselling group remained stable, it increased in the controls by 66% from 0.41 to 0.68. The results show that the intervention had a protective effect on sexual behaviour with steady partners. Intervention effects were strongest within steady relationships, especially for men whose steady-relationship status changed during the study. The intervention was well accepted among the target group. Conclusion: The fifteen-minute individually tailored counselling session was not only well accepted but also had a protective effect on risk behaviour after a follow-up of six months.


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