Reducing HIV Risk among Episodic Substance Using Men Who Have Sex with Men

Investigator: Eric Vittinghoff, PhD
Sponsor: Public Health Foundation Enterprises, Inc.

Location(s): United States


The purpose of this study is to determine if persons randomized to receive adapted Personalized Cognitive Risk-reduction Counseling (PCC) will report greater reductions in unprotected anal sex behavior compared with persons who do not receive Personalized Cognitive Risk-reduction Counseling (PCC).

In the U.S., men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to constitute the greatest number of HIV/AIDS cases compared with other risk groups. Furthermore, many episodic substance using men who have sex with men (SUMSM) report that sex and substance use "always" or "often" go together. Studies have shown that substance use just before or during sex substantially increases HIV risk. The randomized controlled trial (RCT) phase of this study will enroll 326 ethnically-diverse, HIV-negative episodic SUMSM to receive standard HIV rapid testing plus adapted Personalized Cognitive Risk-reduction Counseling intervention (PCC) or standard HIV counseling and rapid testing only.

Specific Aims:

To conduct formative research through individual interviews and pilot testing among a sample of episodic substance-using men who have sex with men (SUMSM) to develop and adapt the key elements of the Personal Risk-Reduction Cognitive Counseling intervention, with a focus on eliciting and intervening on the thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors that episodic SUMSM employ when using substances and engaging in concurrent sexual risk.

To determine the efficacy of the adapted intervention in reducing unprotected anal sex, as compared to routine HIV testing control condition, in a randomized trial of 326 episodic SUMSM.

We will also:

Determine the cost-effectiveness of the intervention in reducing sexual risk.

Determine the efficacy of the intervention in reducing substance use.

Explore whether the intervention reduces sexually transmitted infection incidence compared with the control arm.