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The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Create It

Sat, May 27, 12:30 to 13:45, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Floor: 3, Aqua 303

Abstract

Young men who have sex with men (YMSM) are at increased risk for HIV. With interventions insufficiently efficacious, researchers are exploring theoretical mediators (e.g., does change in self-efficacy actually change behavior?). Neuroscience approaches suggest additional mediators such as enhancing YMSM’s consideration of future consequences (CFC). A virtual game intervention, SOLVE (Socially Optimized Learning in Virtual Environments), explored the possibility that change in self-efficacy and CFC would mediate sexually risky behavior change. Data analyzed were from 579 HIV-negative, self-identified MSMs, aged from 18 to 24, who had condomless anal intercourse (CAI) in the past 90 days, randomly assigned to SOLVE or the wait-listed control, who returned at 6-months. Using regression, we found CFC and self-efficacy mediated the link between condition and reduction in risky sex over 6 months. Within the game condition, the involvement to risk reduction link was similarly mediated by self-efficacy and CFC. Implications of these findings are discussed.

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