Positively Speaking: Talking about Safer Sexual Behaviors

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the comprehensive Recommendations for HIV Prevention with Adults and Adolescents with HIV in the United States, 2014, which recommend that HIV care providers regularly conduct behavioral risk-reduction interventions to promote safer sex and drug use behaviors among their HIV-infected patients to reduce the risk of exposing others to HIV. Patients living with HIV may not be aware that their behaviors can lead to transmission of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or STD acquisition. In addition, many HIV care providers are inexperienced or uncomfortable discussing sexuality and/or sexual and drug use behaviors with their patients.[1]

Holding brief conversations with HIV-infected patients on a regular basis about risk reduction benefits both the patient and provider by fostering trust and empathy, and helping to build a therapeutic relationship. HIV-infected patients may not be aware that their behaviors are risky. Once providers are aware of patients’ behaviors, they can then talk openly about them, as well as offer advice to help patients reduce their risk of transmitting HIV to others in the context of protecting themselves from STDs.

[1]Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Monitoring selected national HIV prevention and care objectives by using HIV surveillance data—United States and 6 dependent areas—2011. HIV Surveillance Supplemental Report 2013;18(5).  Available online at: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/library/reports/surveillance/cdc-hiv-surveillancereport_vol20_no2.pdf /. Accessed November 19, 2015.

Learning Objectives 

This free, 1-hour, web-based continuing medical (CME) program is designed to help clinicians caring for people living with HIV to integrate brief prevention messages into their clinical practice. Upon completion of this activity, participants should be better able to:

  1. Identify teachable moments to engage patients in brief conversations about sexual behavior.
  2. Utilize teachable moments to improve sexual behaviors, thereby helping to reduce HIV transmission and STD acquisition.
  3. Understand why HIV providers often do not discuss sex and sexual behavior with their patients.
  4. Describe how brief prevention messages are effective in modifying the sexual behaviors of HIV-infected persons.


The audience for this program is HIV care providers, including infectious disease physicians, internists, family physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, and physician assistants involved in HIV medical care and treatment. Other healthcare providers may also participate.


John T. Brooks, MD
Senior Medical Advisor, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Staff Physician
Atlanta VA Medical Center, Infectious Disease Unit

Wayne Duffus, MD, PhD
Associate Director for Health Equity
CDC’s National Center for HIV, Viral Hepatitis
STD and TB Prevention
Atlanta, GA
Clinical Associate Professor of Infectious Diseases
University of South Carolina School of Medicine
Columbia, SC

W. David Hardy, MD
Senior Director of Evidence-Based Practices, Whitman-Walker Health 
Adjunct Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Jack Mackenroth
Patient Advocate
HIV Activist and Educator

Kathleen E. Squires, MD
The W. Paul and Ida H. Havens
Professor of Infectious Diseases
Director, Division of Infectious Diseases
Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA



This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education through the joint providership of American Academy of CME, Inc., (Academy) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). American Academy of CME, Inc., is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

American Academy of CME, Inc., designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Per the American Academy of Physician Assistants, PAs attending an educational activity that has been designated for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ may claim up to the maximum number of credits designated.

According to the AANP, nurse practitioners may use continuing education credits obtained from the following agencies for their recertification process: AANP, NAPNAP, ANCC, ACNM, AMA, AAFP, AAPA, and applicable clinical graduate courses.

Method of Participation

Participants must review the activity information including the learning objectives and disclosure statements, as well as the content of the activity. To receive CME credit for your participation, please complete the post-test (achieving a passing grade of 70% or greater), and program evaluation. Your certificate can be printed immediately. 

Disclosure Statement

According to the disclosure policy of the Academy, all faculty, planning committee members, editors, managers and other individuals who are in a position to control content are required to disclose any relevant relationships with any commercial interests related to this activity. The existence of these interests or relationships is not viewed as implying bias or decreasing the value of the presentation. All educational materials are reviewed for fair balance, scientific objectivity and levels of evidence. Disclosures are as follows:


John T. Brooks, MD; Wayne Duffus, MD, PhD; Jack Mackenroth have no relevant financial relationships with any commercial interests.


Discloses the Following:

W. David Hardy, MD

Advisory Board-Scientific Information: Gilead Sciences, Janssen, ViiV/GlaxoSmithKline; Consultant for Clinical Trial Design: Gilead Sciences, Janssen, ViiV/GlaxoSmithKline; Grant/Reearch Support: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead Sciences, Janssen, Merck & Co., ViiV/GlaxoSmithKline 

Kathleen E. Squires, MDAdvisory Boards--Marketing purposes: Gilead Sciences, Janssen; Advisory Boards--Scientific Information: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Gilead Sciences, Janssen, Merck & Co, ViiV; Grant/Research Support: Gilead Sciences


Planners for this activity have no relevant financial relationships with any commercial interests.

This activity will not review off-label or investigational information.

The opinions expressed in this educational activity are those of the faculty.This activity is intended as a supplement to existing knowledge, published information, and practice guidelines. Learners should appraise the information presented critically, and draw conclusions only after careful consideration of all available scientific information.

American Academy of CME Privacy Policy

For more information about the American Academy of CME privacy policy, please access http://www.academycme.org/privacy.htm.

Elsevier Privacy Policy


Participants have an implied responsibility to use the newly acquired information to enhance patient outcomes and their own professional development. The information presented in this activity is not meant to serve as a guideline for patient management. Any procedures, medications, or other courses of diagnosis or treatment discussed or suggested in this activity should not be used by clinicians without evaluation of their patient’s conditions and possible contraindications on dangers in use, review of any applicable manufacturer’s product information, and comparison with recommendations of other authorities.


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© 2016. This CME-certified activity is held as copyrighted © by CDC.

System Requirements

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™
  • 1.00 Non-physician
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™
  • 1.00 Non-physician
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