This pilot study evaluated whether brief safer sex interventions for women partners of male injection drug users significantly influenced perceptions of partner risk, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) knowledge, correct condom usage, and self-reported consistent safer sex (abstinence or 100% of vaginal-penile intercourse acts protected by male or female condoms). The study also examined the impact of pretest assessment on those variables since pretest assessment may challenge participants' current knowledge, safer sex practices, and partner communication techniques. The study randomly assigned participants to pretest or no pretest assessment. Each group was also assigned randomly to a presentation modality: (1) safer sex pamphlet review only, (2) pamphlet review with demonstration of several safer sex alternatives, or (3) pamphlet review with skills practice to mastery with one safer sex alternative of the woman's choice. For the last two conditions, a 35-minute interactive session covered prevention efficacy of safer sex methods for HIV, sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy, correct use, eroticization, local cost and availability, and partner objections. At 7 weeks postintervention, a higher proportion of women who took pretest assessment reported consistent safer sex (66.7%) compared to those without pretests (55.6%). Assignment to the interactive interventions (skills or demonstration) had little additional impact over pretest assessment for these women. Among women who did not take pretests, the interactive interventions had strong effects; 76.9% reported consistent safer sex versus 33.3% in the pamphlet review group. There were additional specific effects for pretest assessment on HIV knowledge and partner risk perception and for interactive intervention on correct condom usage. Brief interventions appear to have some positive short-term effects. Pretest assessment may be an important component of brief interventions.
- Heterosexual Partners of IDUs
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Urban Studies
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health