McKinstry LA, Zerbe A, Farrior J, Kurth AE, Stanton J, Li M, Elion R, Leider J, Branson B, El-Sadr WM, Hanscom B, for the HPTN 065 Study, Kurth A, Li Maoji. A Randomized-Controlled Trial of Computer-based Prevention Counseling for HIV-Positive Persons (HPTN 065). 2017 PMC5619875
Abstract OBJECTIVE: Decreasing the risk of HIV transmission from HIV-positive individuals is an important public health priority. We evaluated the effectiveness of a computer-based sexual risk reduction counseling intervention (CARE+) among HIV-positive persons enrolled in care. METHODS: HIV-positive eligible participants (N=1075) were enrolled from 11 care sites in the Bronx, NY and Washington, DC and randomized 1:1 to either a tablet-based self-administered CARE+ intervention or standard of care (SOC). The primary outcome was the proportion of participants reporting any unprotected vaginal/anal sex at last sex, among all partners, HIV-negative or HIV-unknown-status partners and for primary and non-primary partners. RESULTS: At baseline, 7% of participants in both arms reported unprotected sex with an HIV-negative or HIV-unknown-status partner, while 13% in the CARE+ arm and 17% in the SOC arm reported unprotected sex with any partner. Most participants (88%) were on antiretroviral therapy (ART) at baseline. There was no significant difference in changes over time in unprotected vaginal/anal sex between the CARE+ and SOC arms for any partners (p=0.67) or either HIV-negative or HIV-unknown-status partners (p=0.40). At the Month 12 visit, most participants (85%) either strongly agreed or agreed that computer counseling would be a good addition to in-person counseling by a provider. CONCLUSION: The CARE+ intervention was not effective at reducing sexual risk behaviors among HIV-positive patients in care, most of whom were on ART. Further research may be warranted around the utility of computer-based counseling for HIV prevention.