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This project aims to experimentally evaluate the effectiveness of a theoretically based intervention to promote sexual risk-reduction in people who get an HIV test at STD clinics. The intervention is based on the RESPECT protocol (CDC), proven to be effective in the US, and is tailored to the specific needs of individual clients. People who come to STD clinics for STD and HIV control belong to the most relevant target group for the promotion of safer sex. At this moment they only receive counseling aimed at the consequences of taking the test and no systematic risk-reduction counseling. The intervention will be implemented in various STD clinics. There are two experimental conditions. The first one consists of risk-reduction counseling when people take the HIV test. In the second condition people who test negative also receive counseling one week later when they receive the test result. The former primarily aims at developing a personal risk-reduction plan, while the latter aims at preventing negative consequences of unrealistic optimism of a negative test result. The experimental conditions will be evaluated against standard practice. Assessment of relevant variables and outcome measures takes place before the HIV test, and subsequently three and six months after the test. Based on the outcomes of the study, the protocol will be implemented by other STD clinics. Opportunities will be explored to implement adapted versions in other settings.

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