Receptive anal sex has high human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission risk, and heterosexual substance-abusing individuals report higher anal sex rates compared to their counterparts in the general population.
This secondary analysis evaluated the effectiveness of two gender-specific, evidence-based HIV-prevention interventions (Real Men Are Safe, or REMAS, for men; Safer Sex Skill Building, or SSSB, for women) against an HIV education (HIV-Ed) control condition on decreasing unprotected heterosexual anal sex (HAS) among substance abuse treatment-seeking men (n = 171) and women (n = 105). Two variables, engagement in any HAS and engagement in unprotected HAS, were assessed at baseline and three months postintervention. Compared to the control group, women in the gender-specific intervention did not differ on rates of any HAS at follow-up but significantly decreased their rates of unprotected HAS. Men in both the gender-specific and the control interventions reported less HAS and unprotected HAS at three-month follow-up compared to baseline, with no treatment condition effect.
The mechanism of action for SSSB compared to REMAS in decreasing unprotected HAS is unclear. More attention to HAS in HIV-prevention interventions for heterosexual men and women in substance abuse treatment is warranted.
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- 1 Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences , University of Washington.
- 2 School of Social Work , University of Washington.
- 3 Columbia University Medical Center, New York State Psychiatric Institute and Mount Sinai St. Luke's Hospital, Duke University.
- 4 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences , Duke University.
- J Sex Res. 2016 Jan 28:1-9.
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