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NIDA. (2013, October 23). No added benefit from risk-reduction counseling at HIV testing. Retrieved from

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Science Spotlight

October 23, 2013

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For persons at risk for HIV, brief risk-reduction counseling at the time of a rapid HIV test does not reduce new sexually transmitted infections in a six-month follow-up. This counseling also did not reduce rates of unprotected sex, according to a study published in JAMA.

Risk-reduction counseling has historically played a major role in the HIV testing process; however these results suggest that to use resources more efficiently, clinics should reconsider their approach to providing information at the time of testing. Post-test counseling for persons testing HIV-positive remains essential.

For a copy of the study, go to For a copy of a press release from JAMA, go to For more information on HIV rapid testing in substance abuse treatment programs, go to:

For more information, contact the NIDA press office at or 301-443-6245.