Sustained Sexual Behavior Change after Acute HIV Diagnosis in Malawi

Katherine B. Rucinski, Sarah E. Rutstein, Kimberly A. Powers, Dana K. Pasquale, Ann M. Dennis, Sam Phiri, Mina C. Hosseinipour, Gift Kamanga, Dominic Nsona, Cecilia Massa, Irving F. Hoffman, William C. Miller, Audrey E. Pettifor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background Identification of acute HIV infection (AHI) allows for important opportunities for HIV prevention through behavior change and biomedical intervention. Here, we evaluate changes in sexual risk behaviors among persons with AHI enrolled in a combined behavioral and biomedical intervention designed to reduce onward transmission of HIV. Methods Participants were randomized to standard HIV counseling, a multisession behavioral intervention, or a multisession behavioral intervention plus antiretrovirals. Sexual behaviors were assessed periodically over 1 year. Results Four weeks after diagnosis, the predicted probability of reporting multiple sexual partners decreased from 24% to 9%, and the probability of reporting unprotected sex decreased from 71% to 27%. These declines in sexual risk behaviors were sustained over follow-up irrespective of study arm. Conclusions Diagnosis of AHI alone may be sufficient to achieve immediate and sustained behavior change during this highly infectious period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)741-746
Number of pages6
JournalSexually transmitted diseases
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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