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Welcome To Project RESPECT

Project RESPECT (CDC) - Baltimore, Denver, Long Beach, Newark, and San Francisco.Introduction

Project RESPECT was a national study evaluating the efficacy of HIV prevention counseling in changing high risk sexual behaviors and preventing new sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV. The project concluded with a large, multi-center randomized, controlled trial that compared two different brief, one-on-one counseling interventions and an informational messages intervention that is more typical of current practice.

The trial enrolled men and women who came for diagnosis and treatment of an STD to one of 5 publicly funded STD clinics across the United States.

Project RESPECT Sites: Baltimore, Denver, San Francisco, Newark, and Long Beach

All participants agreed to have an HIV test and to come back to the clinics every 3 months for a full year to undergo behavioral questionnaires, STD examinations and tests, and HIV tests.

Over the 6 year project, 5,876 men and women with predominantly heterosexual HIV and STD risk enrolled in the study and were randomized to one of three HIV prevention interventions, either Enhanced CounselingPDF Icon (4 interactive counseling sessions based on theories of behavioral science), Brief CounselingPDF Icon (2 short, interactive counseling sessions based on CDC’s client-centered HIV Prevention Counseling model), or Didactic MessagesPDF Icon (2 brief information-only sessions that are typical of what is currently done at many test sites). For more information about the interventions, including quality assurance protocols, please download the Intervention ManualPDF Icon (July 1993).


The trial found that participants in both the Enhanced Counseling and Brief Counseling interventions reported significantly more condom use at 3 and 6 months post intervention compared with participants in Didactic Messages. Significantly fewer participants in both the Enhanced and Brief Counseling interventions had new STDs. After 6 months, 30% fewer participants in both counseling interventions had new STDs, and after 12 months, 20% fewer participants in both had new STDs. The STD reduction was similar for men and women. Subset analyses suggest that the counseling intervention were better for adolescents (45% fewer had new STDs) and for people who had an STD at the baseline visit (40% had new STDs).

The randomized control trial outcome results were published in JAMA Oct 7. 1998.Link to a non-governmental site and does not necessarily represent the views of the CDC Other Project RESPECT publications, including one on quality assurance, an incentives paper, two MMWRs, a condom letter and several abstracts are also available in the Project RESPECT Bibliography Page.

Additional studies are underway assessing the cost effectiveness of counseling interventions, whether a single counseling session used in conjunction with a rapid HIV test might be as effective in preventing STDs as two sessions, and whether an additional counseling session at 6 months may be effective.

Also visit the RESPECT-2 Web page.

Page last modified March 23, 2007
Page last reviewed for accuracy March 23, 2007
Content Source: Divisions of HIV/AIDS Prevention
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention
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