Pilot Test of an Adapted, Evidence-Based HIV Sexual Risk Reduction Intervention for Homeless Women

Published in: Prevention Science, v. 17, no. 1, Jan. 2016, p. 112-121

Posted on RAND.org on January 14, 2016

by Suzanne L. Wenzel, Julie A. Cederbaum, Ahyoung Song, Hsun-Ta Hsu, Jaih B. Craddock, Wichada Hantanachaikul, Joan S. Tucker

Women experiencing homelessness are at heightened risk for HIV, yet risk reduction interventions specifically designed for this population are lacking. This study reports on a pilot efficacy trial of a brief evidence-based intervention, Sister To Sister (STS), that we specifically adapted for homeless women in the temporary/emergency settings where they typically seek services. Seventy-nine women, recruited from three service sites in Los Angeles County, were assigned to the 40-min adapted STS intervention or an information-only control group. At 30-day follow-up, intervention participants reported significantly greater condom use, intentions to use condoms, and sexual impulse control (as well as marginally higher positive condom beliefs and condom self-efficacy) compared to control participants. Results provide preliminary evidence that HIV risk reduction can be achieved for homeless women through a brief skill-based intervention. A randomized controlled trial employing a longer follow-up period to monitor outcomes will be necessary to determine efficacy of the adapted intervention.

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