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May 4, 1994

Evaluating Behavioral Interventions: Need for Randomized Controlled Trials-Reply

Author Affiliations

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, Ga

JAMA. 1994;271(17):1318. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510410029018

In Reply.  —We thank Dr Gerber and colleagues for their endorsement of our recommendation for more randomized controlled trials of behavior change intervention for HIV and sexually transmitted disease prevention. We also commend the references they cite as excellent overviews of behavioral interventions to prevent HIV. Higgins et al1 document the paucity of randomized trials. Kelly,2 a pioneer in HIV-related community intervention trials, writes: "After more than 12 years of the HIV epidemic—an epidemic that can only be controlled by interventions to promote risk behavior change— the lack of research evaluating outcomes of interventions to prevent HIV infection is very troubling."Our call for more randomized trials of behavioral interventions has been misinterpreted by some as a statement that behavioral interventions do not work. We believe that some behavioral interventions, like some drug therapy interventions, are effective in some instances. Randomized controlled trials help determine which interventions are

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