Background HIV is one of the fastest growing serious health conditions in the UK. HIV+ MSM have an increased burden of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Effective interventions are needed to reduce the risk to MSM's health. MI is an evidence based goal-directed approach to behaviour change. There is some evidence for its use in risk reduction in sexual health. A clinic was set up to deliver an MI based intervention to MSM who engage in “high risk” sexual activity. The aim is to reduce the frequency of patients' unprotected sex, thereby reducing risk of transmission/acquisition of STIs.
Aims The aim of this paper is to review the level of need for a MI based risk reduction clinic. An audit of referral data to the MI clinic was compared with an audit of referrals to the general sexual health psychology clinic. The latter receives referrals from sexual health; a proportion of total referrals to this service include clients who engage in high risk sexual activity.
Methods The MI clinic was publicised by presenting the clinic at teaching and multi-disciplinary clinic meetings. Patient leaflets outlining the service were distributed across clinic rooms. A survey of staff was carried out to assess potential need for the service. A comparison audit of referral data to the MI clinic vs the general sexual health psychology clinic over a 6-month period was carried out.
Results A comparison of the average number of referrals per month to the general psychology service vs the MI clinic was carried out. The MI clinic averaged 30% more referrals per month than the general sexual health psychology service. A survey of referrers showed that 67% of staff who were aware of the MI service reported that they had patients who would benefit from the service.
Discussion These results highlight the need for a specific service to address sexual risk taking. Further research is required to investigate whether MI is an effective intervention in this area.