Predictors of sexual behavior change among men requesting their HIV-1 antibody status: The Chicago MACS/CCS cohort of homosexual/bisexual men, 1985-1986

E. D. Beltran, D. G. Ostrow, Jill G Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations


It has been proposed that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibody testing and counseling are effective means of altering sexual behavior among individuals at risk of HIV infection and transmission. However, the evidence supporting this hypothesis is inconclusive. This study examines the factors associated with sexual behavior change among a group of participants in the Chicago MACS/Coping and Change Study (CMACS/CCS) who requested their HIV antibody status when they were first given the opportunity, between 1985 and 1986. A set of demographic and psychosocial predictors were tested in association with 4 possible outcome patterns of sexual behavior change during the time of antibody status disclosure. For comparative purposes, a randomly selected sample of men who did not request disclosure of their HIV antibody status was analyzed. The results revealed that, among the 177 individuals who requested disclosure, the group experiencing an adverse sexual behavior change (i.e., from low risk before disclosure to high risk after disclosure) reported, before disclosure, the highest level of mental distress and denial-fatalism coping strategies and had the lowest levels of social support compared with other groups being analyzed. The psychosocial predictor most strongly associated with adverse sexual behavior change appears to be the use of denial-fatalism coping. Such an association was not found among the nondisclosed comparison group. These results suggest that a subgroup of at-risk, well-educated, white men, with overall high knowledge of HIV transmission, may not benefit from current HIV counseling and testing. Such men at risk for adverse behavioral outcomes might be identified in advance of HIV-1 antibody testing by their psychosocial profile, and thus appropriate counseling resources could be targeted to them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-195
Number of pages11
JournalAIDS Education and Prevention
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Education

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