Beyond the Most Willing Audiences: A Meta-Intervention to Increase Exposure to HIV-Prevention Programs by Vulnerable Populations

Dolores Albarracín, Marta R. Durantini, Allison Earl, Joanne B. Gunnoe, Josh Leeper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Enrollment in HIV-prevention interventions is more likely when the audience has safer rather than riskier HIV-relevant behavior. Thus, a meta-intervention was designed to increase participation by an audience of infrequent condom users in Florida. Design: Participants (N = 400) were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 conditions varying the introduction to a counseling program. In the experimental condition, participants were told that the intervention gave participants options but might not change their behavior. In a standard-introduction condition, participants were told that the program was highly effective at changing participants' behaviors. There was also an information-control group containing a description of the program, and a no-information-control group solely containing an invitation. Main outcome measures: The outcome measure was actual participation in the offered counseling. Results: Findings indicated that the experimental introduction was the most successful at yielding participation in the counseling program when the audience had low intentions to use condoms in the future. Conclusion: Intervention introductions countering participants' resistance to change increase participation in HIV-prevention counseling among reluctant clients. Other meta-interventions may be explored to systematically augment the effectiveness of evidence-based health-promotion interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)638-644
Number of pages7
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • HIV prevention
  • health behavior
  • intervention
  • participation in health promotion programs
  • selective exposure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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