Reducing Risky Sexual Behavior and Substance Use Among Currently and Formerly Homeless Adults Living With HIV

The researchers examined the efficacy of an intervention, the "Healthy Living Program," in reducing risky sexual behavior and substance use among HIV-positive adults who were marginally housed (homeless at least some point over a period of 37 months).

With a population of 936 HIV-positive adults, the authors had previously conducted a randomized controlled trial of three five-session intervention modules addressing different goals: reducing risky sex acts and drug use; improving quality of life; and adhering to health behaviors. Participants were interviewed at baseline and at five, 10, 15, 20, and 25 months; 746 completed four or more assessments. In the current study, the authors analyzed sexual behavior and drug use outcomes for the 35 percent of participants (270 of 767) who were classified as marginally housed.

"Among the marginally housed participants, there were significantly greater reductions in unprotected risky sexual acts, the number of sexual partners of HIV-negative or unknown serostatus, alcohol or marijuana use, and hard drug use among the intervention group than among the control group," the authors concluded. "Intensive, skill-focused intervention programs may improve the lives of marginally housed adults living with HIV infection."