(HealthDay News) – Brief HIV risk-reduction counseling given at the time of a rapid HIV test does not reduce the incidence of sexually transmitted infections six months later, according to a study published in the Oct. 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Lisa R. Metsch, PhD, from Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues randomly assigned 5,012 patients at sexually transmitted disease clinics to receive a rapid HIV test with brief patient-centered HIV risk-reduction counseling or with verbal information about HIV. Patients were tested for Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, Treponema pallidum (syphilis), herpes simplex virus 2, and HIV, while women were also tested for Trichomonas vaginalis.

The researchers found that the six-month composite incidence of sexually transmitted infections was similar in the counseling group and the information-only group (12.3% vs. 11.1%; adjusted risk ratio, 1.12; 95% confidence interval, 0.94–1.33).

“Risk-reduction counseling in conjunction with a rapid HIV test did not significantly affect sexually transmitted infection acquisition among sexually transmitted disease clinic patients, suggesting no added benefit from brief patient-centered risk-reduction counseling,” Metsch and colleagues conclude.

Several authors disclosed financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies.

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