ConnectHIP is a relationship-based intervention that teaches couples techniques and skills to enhance the quality of their relationship, communication, and shared commitment to safety and health. Testing for HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and medication adherence within a continuum of care are part of the ConnectHIP intervention.

About ConnectHIP

ConnectHIP is based on the AIDS Risk Reduction Model, which organizes behavior change into three phases—recognize risk, commit to change, and act on strategies—and on the Ecological Perspective, which emphasizes the personal, relational, and societal influences on behavior.

ConnectHIP integrates family therapy techniques that allow couples to harness their strengths and resources and work together to solve shared problems.

Intervention Core Elements

  • Working with sexual and/or drug using partners together in structured, facilitated sessions emphasizing the relationship as the focus of change.
  • Creating a prevention and/or risk-reduction strategy customized to the partners’ relationship history, characteristics, and agreements.
  • Identifying how gendered expectations, stereotypes, stigma, and power imbalances influence decisions regarding behavioral and biomedical prevention approaches.
  • Using modeling, practice, and goal setting to promote mastery in communication, negotiation, problem-solving, and social support enhancement within partnerships to reduce risks.
  • Enhancing skills to navigate family, community, and structural-level barriers that impact risk reduction and access to care.
  • Facilitating linkage to care and other needed services to address co-occurring issues.

ConnectHIP Training

There is no CDC-supported training currently available for ConnectHIP. Technical assistance for the implementation of ConnectHIP is available.

To request technical assistance:

  1. CDC’s directly funded health department and CBO partners may request technical assistance by submitting a request in the CBA Tracking System.
  2. Organizations not directly funded by CDC may contact their local health department for assistance in submitting a request.

If you have questions or need additional assistance, please contact

Implementation and Marketing Materials

The materials and resources listed below support the implementation and/or marketing of ConnectHIP by health departments, community-based organizations, and health care or other organizations. The resources are evidence-based and designed for cost-effective, scalable implementation.

  • El-Bassel N, Gilbert L, Wu E, Witte S, Chang M, Hill J, Remien RH. Couple-based HIV prevention for low-income drug users from New York City: A randomized controlled trial to reduce dual risk. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2011;58(2):198-206.
  • El-Bassel N, Witte S, Gilbert L, Wu E, Chang M, Hill J, Steinglass P. The efficacy of a relationship-based HIV/STD prevention program for heterosexual couples. Am J Public Health 2003;93(6):963-969.
  • El-Bassel N, Jemmott JB, Landis JR, Pequegnat W, Wingood GM, Wyatt GE, Bellamy SL. National Institute of Mental Health multisite Eban HIV/STD prevention intervention for African American HIV serodiscordant couples: A cluster randomized trial. Arch Intern Med 2010;170(17):1594-1601. PMCID: 20625011.
  • The NIMH Multisite HIV Prevention Trial Group. Methodological overview of an African American couple-based HIV/STD prevention trial. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2008;49 (suppl 1):S3-S14.
  • The NIMH Multisite HIV Prevention Trial Group. Eban HIV/STD risk reduction intervention: Conceptual basis and procedures. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2008;49 (suppl 1):S15-S27.