CONTEXT: Many Hispanic women are at elevated risk for HIV infection because of the sexual behavior of their male partner. Yet, couple-based risk-reduction interventions for this population have not been developed and scientifically evaluated.
METHODS: A sample of 146 Hispanic couples who received either a risk reduction intervention or the community educational standard of care were followed up at three months (men and women) and six months (women only) to measure the consistency of both condom use and effective contraceptive use, and the frequency of unprotected vaginal sex. Analyses were conducted to identify differences between the two groups at baseline and follow-up interviews, and changes over time.
RESULTS: At follow-up, the two groups did not differ on any risk-related outcomes; over time, both groups increased the reported consistency of condom use and of use of effective contraceptive methods, and reduced their frequency of unprotected sex.
CONCLUSIONS: If further research confirms that simply bringing couples together for a single-session, culturally appropriate risk reduction intervention helps them adopt protective behaviors, more intensive (and costly) interventions may not be necessary.