Purpose: The aim of the article was to test the efficacy of an HIV risk reduction intervention for African American mothers in reducing condomless vaginal intercourse among mothers and their adolescent sons.
Methods: In a randomized controlled trial design, mother-son dyads residing in public housing developments in Philadelphia, PA, were allocated to one of two four-session interventions: HIV risk reduction targeting sexual risk behaviors or attention-matched control targeting other health behaviors. Only mothers received the interventions; mothers and sons completed self-report measures preintervention, immediately postintervention, and 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months postintervention. The primary outcome was frequency of condomless vaginal intercourse in the past 3 months.
Results: A total of 525 mother-son dyads participated, with 523 included in primary outcome analyses. Generalized estimating equations analyses revealed that condomless sex was reduced in the HIV risk reduction intervention compared with the attention control group, adjusting for baseline self-reports and time of postintervention assessment. The intervention's efficacy did not differ between mothers and sons or among the postintervention periods.
Conclusions: Mother-son interventions are an effective strategy to reduce sexual risks among African American mothers and their adolescent sons residing in public housing.
Keywords: Adolescent males; HIV/STD prevention; Low-income housing developments; Randomized controlled trial; Sexual risk reduction interventions; Single African American mothers; Unprotected sex.