Program

Nov 07, 2012

OVERVIEW

The information-based HIV/STD risk reduction program is designed to reduce the risk of unprotected sexual intercourse among sexually experienced Latino and black adolescent females. The program provides information related to on HIV and sexually transmitted disease (STD) risk reduction via culturally- and developmentally-appropriate small group sessions.

An experimental evaluation of information-based risk-reduction program found that participation in the program had a marginally significant positive impact on whether the participants had multiple sex partners in the prior three months, compared with a control group.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Sexually experienced black and Latino adolescent girls

The information-based HIV/STD risk-reduction intervention is a brief, small-group program that aims to promote HIV/STD risk reduction among black and Latina adolescent girls.  It is designed to be both culturally and developmentally appropriate for the participants.  The program is administered over the course of three, 250-minute interventions and provides information on HIV and STDs. Specifically, program content addresses HIV/STD transmission, the elevated risk of HIV/STD among inner-city black and Latina young women – and the young women’s personal vulnerability to HIV/STD. The program stresses the importance of using condoms and addresses the belief that condoms interfere with sexual enjoyment. Finally, the program includes a focus on the diverse messages about sex to which the young women are exposed and promotes personal responsibility for sexual risk reduction in romantic relationships.  Program content is delivered via group discussion, videotapes, and demonstration models of condom use.

EVALUATION OF PROGRAM

Jemmott, J. B., Jemmott, L. S., Braverman, P. K., & Fong, G. T. (2005). HIV/STD risk reduction interventions for black and Latino adolescent girls at an adolescent medicine center: A randomized control trial. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 159, 440-449.

Evaluated population:  The evaluated population included 682 sexually-experienced adolescent girls (463 black and 219 Latino) who were recruited from an adolescent medicine clinic in Philadelphia, PA. Of the Latino participants, 93 percent were Puerto Rican. The participants were ages 12 to 19 (mean age of 15.5), and all could read and speak English. Participants were eligible for the study if they were not currently pregnant and were not planning to move from the area of the clinic.

Approach: Participants were recruited from a low-income, inner-city adolescent medical clinic in a hospital in Philadelphia, PA. All participants had volunteered for a “Women’s Health Project” initiative to reduce health risks in the black and Latino populations. During their bi-annual STD screenings (which was a component of the latter initiative) the girls were referred to the study; those who were eligible and agreed to participate were stratified by age and then randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups or a control group.  The first treatment group received the Sisters Saving Sisters program (the skill-based HIV/STD risk-reduction program, more information on this program can be found here) and the second received the information-based HIV/STD risk-reduction program.  To ensure that program impacts were not merely attributable to group interactions and attention that would have come from the two treatment groups, control group received a “health-promotion” intervention that focused on behavioral risk reduction for heart disease, cancer, and stroke.  Participants received $40 for participating in the programs.

The primary outcome of interest in this evaluation was the number of days in the past month that the adolescent reported having unprotected sex in the prior three months.  The secondary outcomes of interest included number of partners in the prior three months, whether the participant had multiple partners in the prior three month, the number of days in the prior three months that they had sex while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the number of days in the prior three months that they had unprotected sex while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and STD infection (having a positive STD test). Self-reported data for each of these measures were collected at baseline and then at 3, 6, and 12 months after the intervention (and STD tests for gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and trichomoniasis were administered at 6 and 12 months).

Results: Compared with the control group, there were no program impacts of the information-based risk reduction program on the number of days that the adolescent reported having unprotected sex in the prior three months.  There were also no impacts on the number of partners in the prior three months, the number of days in the prior three months that they had sex while under the influence, the number of days in the prior three months that they had unprotected sex while under the influence, or STD infection.  At the 12-month follow-up only, those in the information-based risk reduction group were marginally less likely to report having multiple partnerships in the prior three months than those in the control group.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

Program information and curriculum materials available at:

http://www.selectmedia.org/programs/sisters.html

References:

Jemmott, J. B., Jemmott, L. S., Braverman, P. K., & Fong, G. T. (2005). HIV/STD risk reduction interventions for black and Latino adolescent girls at an adolescent medicine center: A randomized control trial. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 159, 440-449.

KEYWORDS: Adolescents (12-17), Youth (16+), Young Adults (1-24), Female Only, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Urban, Clinic/Provider-Based, STD/HIV/AIDS, Sexual Activity, Condom Use and Contraception

Program information last updated on 11/7/12.