Personalized Feedback to Reduce HIV Transmission Risk Behavior among Young, Gay Males



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Transmission of HIV disparately impacts young men who have sex with men (YMSM). Few efficacious individual-level interventions exist to reduce HIV risk among YMSM. The objective of the present study was to develop and test the initial acceptability and feasibility of an internet-based intervention utilizing personalized normative feedback to reduce sexual HIV-related risk behavior and alcohol use, as well as increase health-protective behaviors among YMSM. Guided by the Prototype Willingness Model, the personalized feedback intervention (PFI) sought to modify perceived social norms and risk prototype favorability to reduce risk for HIV. The final sample consisted of 58 YMSM, 54 of whom were randomized to either the PFI (n = 28) or a sexual health education control group (n = 26). Following the treatment, participants completed surveys at post-intervention and at one-month follow-up. Analyses tested the main effect of treatment group, as well as the interaction effect of treatment group by treatment dose. Results demonstrated the PFI led to reductions in some, but not all, risk behaviors and behavioral norms. Across both treatment conditions, study participants evidenced reductions in four out of six risk behaviors, suggesting that both the PFI and the active control may have been useful in reducing risk. No differences were observed between the treatment conditions for treatment acceptability, intentions to use HIV prevention methods, and self-efficacy factors. The PFI developed was feasible and acceptable to the sample and its preliminary efficacy supported the use of personalized normative feedback interventions among YMSM. As such, this PFI may help in meeting the critical need, recognized by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, for the development of cost-effective interventions tailored to the strengths and vulnerabilities of specific sexual minority populations.



Interventions, Sexual risk-taking