Effectiveness of social marketing on reducing risky sexual behaviors in HIV-positive individuals in Iran: a pilot randomized controlled trial
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Iranian Research Center for HIV/AIDS, Iranian Institute for Reduction of High-Risk Behaviors, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Department of Psychology, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran
Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, University of Bergen, Norway
Iranian Research Center for HIV/AIDS, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Imam Khomeini Hospital, Tehran, Iran
Behavioral Sciences Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Submission date: 2020-11-20
Final revision date: 2021-05-14
Acceptance date: 2021-05-17
Publication date: 2022-09-13
HIV & AIDS Review 2022;21(4):322-326
Social marketing is an innovative measure that benefits different aspects of human life. It has been suggested that it could also be employed in fighting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), and promote family planning. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of social marketing methods on reducing high-risk sexual behaviors in HIV-positive individuals.

Material and methods:
This study was a randomized controlled trial, involving sixty patients who visited voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) center of Imam Khomeini Hospital in Tehran, during 2017-2018 period. Respondent-driven sampling was used, and participants were divided into two groups through block randomization. Intervention group received a weekly social marketing training program in ninety minutes sessions, while control group did not receive any educational intervention. Questionnaire collected data on risky sexual behaviors (RSB) were evaluated using analysis of variance ANOVA.

Social marketing training package delivered in this study could significantly reduce RSB after 6 weeks of implementation (p < 0.001).

Social marketing measures could be effective in reducing RSB in HIV-positive individuals. However, developing well-tailored social marketing interventions, which could address sexual health issues of the society is a challenging endeavor in religious countries, such as Iran.

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