Program

Oct 06, 2015

OVERVIEW

CyberSenga is an online, evidence-based HIV-prevention program designed for adolescents in Uganda. The CyberSenga program provides information about HIV, shows young people useful ways to problem-solve and communicate with others about their needs, and shows young people how to use condoms properly. An experimental study found that the intervention resulted in improvements over time in HIV-preventive information and motivation for condom use.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Ugandan secondary school students ages 13 to 18 years old.

CyberSenga is an online prevention program designed for adolescents in Uganda. The program adopts culturally salient concepts. For example, CyberSenga uses the Ugandan concepts of Senga (father’s sister) and Koja (father’s brother), both of whom are typically responsible for offering children advice and guidance, including on issues related to sexual health. This program uses the Information-Motivation-Behavioral skills (IMB) model of HIV prevention.  According to this model, HIV-preventive behavior is affected by one’s information about how to prevent HIV, one’s motivation to engage in non-risky behaviors, and one’s skills and abilities to enact these behaviors. The intervention focuses on promoting HIV-preventive behaviors using a harm reduction approach, where abstinence is discussed alongside correct and consistent condom use. The CyberSenga intervention consists of a five-module program. Each module is approximately 45 minutes in length, and participants complete the modules on the same day of each week over five weeks.  A booster session can be offered four months after the completion of the initial intervention.

EVALUATION OF PROGRAM

Ybarra, M.L., Korchmaros, J.D., Prescott, T.L., & Birungi, R. (2015). A randomized controlled trial to increase HIV preventive information, motivation, and behavioral skills in Ugandan adolescents. Annals of Behavior Medicine, 49(3), 473-85.

Evaluated population: A total of 366 students, ages 13 to 18, were randomized into the intervention group or the control group. The average age was 16 years, and the sample included 84 percent males. The sample included sexually experienced and inexperienced youth.

Approach: The participants attending secondary school in rural Uganda were randomized by the software program after they had completed the CyberSenga baseline survey. The study arms were balanced on youth biological sex (male and female) and previous sexual experience (sexually active versus abstinent). The outcomes measured were improvements in constructs of the IMB model over the six-month post-intervention period. Three constructs of HIV prevention-related motivation were measured at each time point: (1) attitudes, (2) subjective norms, and (3) behavioral intentions. Within each aspect, two types were measured: abstinence and condom use. Assessments were collected from participants three and six months after baseline. Ninety-five percent of intervention participants completed all five CyberSenga modules.

Results: The study found statistically significant improvements in HIV-preventive knowledge, as well as motivation as it relates to condom use, for the intervention groups compared with the control group.  These improvements were especially true for those in the intervention –plus- booster group.  Behavioral skills for condom use and motivation and behavioral skills for abstinence were statistically similar over time for both groups.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References

Ybarra, M.L., Korchmaros, J.D., Prescott, T.L., & Birungi, R. (2015). A randomized controlled trial to increase HIV preventive information, motivation, and behavioral skills in Ugandan adolescents. Annals of Behavior Medicine, 49(3), 473-85.

Contact Information

www.CyberSenga.com

Michele L. Ybarra

Center for Innovative Public Health Research

San Clemente, CA

Email: Michele@innovativepublichealth.org

KEYWORDS: Adolescents (12-17), Young Adults (18-24), Males and Females (Co-ed), Rural and/or Small Towns, School-based, Abstinence Education, STD/HIV/AIDS, Sexual Activity, Condom Use and Contraception

Program information last updated on 10/6/15