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Fact Sheet: Successful Prevention Programs

December 1, 2000

Studies reveal that effective prevention programs have measurable and often dramatic results.

A recent CDC study conducted in three cities examined the effects of communications between parents and adolescents on the subjects of initiating sex and condom use. It examined African American and Hispanic youth and their mothers. RESULT: Teen participants demonstrated less risky sexual behavior, less conformity to peer norms and a greater belief that parents provide the most useful information about sex compared to non participants.

Another U.S. study was conducted among 15-to-19 year-old boys. RESULT: Those with stereotypical views of manhood were more likely to be involved in violence and delinquency, substance use and unsafe sex than boys with less stereotypical views about what "real men" can and should do.

Studies in the U.S. and many other countries examined college students educated on risk behaviors for HIV. RESULT: Many are beginning to delay the onset of sex and use condoms more consistently.

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A program called "Reducing the Risk," for students in grades 9-10 in thirteen California high schools addressed the consequences of adolescent parenthood and taught abstinence and using protection to avoid HIV/STDs. RESULT: Students who had not had sexual intercourse were significantly less likely to initiate intercourse than students who received the schools' standard sexuality instruction. Those who were already sexually active were significantly less likely to engage in unprotected sex. Also, students increased communication with their parents about abstinence and contraception.

Project RESPECT was designed to increase effective condom use and prevent transmission of new STDs. Conducted by various health departments in inner city STD clinics, the program promoted factors that facilitate condom use, such as self-efficacy, attitudes and social norms. RESULT: Compared to people not in the program, participants reported significantly higher condom use after the program and 30% fewer new STDs.

A Social Skills Training Program in various community centers in the San Francisco area included discussion of gender and ethnic pride, sexual decision making, sexual assertiveness and communication training, condom use and coping skills. RESULT: Women who participated in the program were significantly more likely than women in a comparison group to report consistent condom use with their partners, negotiating condom use and refusing sex when a condom was not available.

An Oral HIV Testing Project implemented in Maryland offered HIV counseling and testing in select drug and alcohol treatment facilities using oral HIV antibody testing. RESULT: Availability of oral testing increased the number of HIV tests performed. The rate of persons testing HIV-positive remained the same, while the number of tests increased, suggesting success in identifying HIV-positive individuals who may otherwise have avoided testing. Urine HIV testing programs have shown similar successes.

A Behavioral Self-Management and Assertion Skill Training Program was conducted for a group of gay males to reduce the frequency of high-risk sexual practices and increase skills for refusing sexual coercion. This 12-week program outlined methods of AIDS risk reduction, behavioral self-management, assertion skills training, relationship skills and social support development. RESULT: Gay men who participated in this program reduced their frequency of unprotected sex and increased their use of condoms significantly more than a comparison group.

Intensive AIDS Education Programs in jails have also proven successful. They focused on health education relevant to male adolescent drug users, with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS. A program administered at a New York City Department of Corrections Detention Center involved interactive discussions on HIV and AIDS, drug use, types of sexual behavior and HIV risk, and strategies to access services and drug abuse treatment. RESULT: After release from jail, those who participated were significantly more likely to use condoms during sex and had fewer high-risk sex partners than those in comparison studies.

The National AIDS Demonstration Research Project funded 29 community-based HIV prevention programs for out-of-treatment injecting drug users and their sexual partners. This project reached thousands of people over five years, significantly reducing HIV risk behavior through face-to-face outreach and risk-reduction interventions and pre-test and post-test HIV counseling. RESULT: 46% of participants reduced or stopped injecting drugs and 37% reduced or stopped sharing needles.





  
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This article was provided by American Association for World Health. It is a part of the publication AIDS: All Men -- Make a Difference!.
 

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