HIV Prevention for Intimate Couples: A Relationship-Based Model

El-Bassel, Nabila; Witte, Susan S.; Gilbert, Louisa; Sormanti, Mary E.; Moreno, Claudia; Pereira, Leslie; Elam, Elizabeth; Steinglass, Peter

HIV prevention programs targeted to heterosexuals have most often been delivered in individual or group modalities that principally focus on women as the agents of change. To date, most HIV risk-reduction interventions are not specifically designed to address issues involving intimate couples or to include both partners. Approaches which take into account relationship dynamics and communication patterns are needed to enable women to initiate or sustain condom use with their main steady partners. In this paper, we present a relationship-based HIV intervention, Project Connect, delivered to 217 African American and Latino heterosexual couples recruited from primary healthcare settings. The paper will first discuss the rationale and the conceptual framework underlying the intervention and then elaborate on the intervention components. Finally, lessons learned in the implementation of the project and implications of Project Connect to future practice and policy making for HIV interventions for heterosexual couples will be discussed.


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Families, Systems & Health

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Social Work
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April 18, 2012