Behavior Changes After Notification of HIV Infection
To learn more about how people who did not volunteer for testing react to information about HIV infection, we assessed short-term behavior changes in HIV-positive blood donors. Methods. Blood donors who were notified at the New York Blood Center that they were HTV positive were asked to participate in a study. A nurse elicited a medical history, performed a limited medical examination, and asked participants to complete a questionnaire that included questions about drug use, sexual behavior, and psychological characteristics. Participants were asked to return in 2 weeks to complete another questionnaire. Results. Many fewer men and women reported engaging in unsafe sexual behaviors in the 2 weeks preceding the follow-up visit than had reported such behaviors prior to notification. These changes were greater than those other investigators have reported, but about 40% of the participants still reported unsafe sexual activity at the follow-up interview. Conclusions. To make nonvolunteer screening programs for HIV infection more effective in reducing the spread of HTV infection, we need to learn more about how to help people change their high-risk behaviors.