Medical News

Discussion of Sexual Risk Behavior in HIV Care Is Infrequent and Appears Ineffectual: A Mixed Methods Study

June 13, 2011

According to consensus guidelines, clinicians should provide a brief sexual risk behavioral intervention in each visit as part of HIV care. Studies based on participant reports suggest this is occurring infrequently; however, studies based on direct observation of clinical encounters are lacking.


In the current research, the team conducted a mixed method study based on audio recordings of 116 routine outpatient visits by 58 different HIV patients in five practice sites. After coding, the visit transcripts were analyzed using a quantitative system. A qualitative analysis was conducted for the dialogue segments in which sexual risk behaviors were discussed.

Ten visits included communication about sexual risk behavior; these discussions were "generally quite brief," the authors reported. In two visits, "substantial counseling" regarding sexual risk reduction occurred, while two others included substantial discussion that "was not evidently directed at the patient's changing behavior." In seven additional visits, physicians did not follow up on cues that suggested "a need or opportunity for such discussion."

"Interactions about sexual risk had less patient engagement than interactions about other health behaviors," the authors concluded. "Physicians seldom provide sexual risk reduction counseling in HIV care, even where specific indications are present."

Back to other news for June 2011

Adapted from:
AIDS and Behavior
05.2011; Vol. 15; No. 4: P. 812-822; M. Barton Laws; Ylisabyth S. Bradshaw; Steven A. Safren; Mary Catherine Beach; Yoojin Lee; William Rogers; Ira B. Wilson

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.

No comments have been made.

Add Your Comment:
(Please note: Your name and comment will be public, and may even show up in
Internet search results. Be careful when providing personal information! Before
adding your comment, please read's Comment Policy.)

Your Name:

Your Location:

(ex: San Francisco, CA)

Your Comment:

Characters remaining:


The content on this page is free of advertiser influence and was produced by our editorial team. See our content and advertising policies.