Positively Speaking: Provider Resource for Talking about Safer Sexual Behaviors

In the summer of 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched Positively Speaking, an educational tool that is part of the Prevention IS Care campaign. Positively Speaking is a free, web-based, continuing education activity to educate HIV health care providers about the importance of delivering brief prevention messages to their patients to help reduce the risk of HIV transmission. The tool was developed in response to CDC’s Recommendations for HIV Prevention with Adults and Adolescents with HIV in the United States, 2014, which encouraged HIV care providers to 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.

Many HIV care providers are inexperienced or uncomfortable discussing sexuality and/or sexual and drug use behaviors with their patients, yet 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. This course is designed to help integrate brief prevention messages into their clinical practice. Upon completion of course, participants should be better able to:

  • Identify teachable moments to engage patients in brief conversations about sexual behavior.
  • Use teachable moments to encourage safer sexual behaviors.
  • Understand why HIV providers often do not discuss sex and sexual behavior with their patients.
  • Describe how brief prevention messages are effective in modifying the sexual behaviors of HIV-infected persons.

Learn more about the course and share with providers in your jurisdiction.

About Kim Rodgers

Kim Rodgers serves as a Communications Specialist at NACCHO. Her work includes promoting local health departments' best practices, as well as partner tools and resources, in infectious disease and preparedness through NACCHO's communications channels, storytelling, and outreach to various audiences.

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