Adolescents Living Safely: AIDS Awareness, Attitudes and Actions

Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus, Ph.D., Sutherland Miller, Ph.D., Cheryl Koopman, Ph.D., Clara Haignere, Ph.D. & Calvin Selfridge



To meet the comprehensive needs of runaway youths between 11 and 18 years of age, this program combines 20 small group discussion sessions with case management and private counseling. The group sessions provide general instruction about HIV/AIDS through video and art workshops in which youth create their own educational materials and review commercially available videos. Participants also receive behavioral and cognitive skills training for coping with high-risk situations. The case management and counseling components are designed to identify individual needs and provide youth with appropriate services (e.g., legal, medical, vocational). A field study of the program was conducted at two urban shelters serving predominantly African-American runaways. The sessions were held over a three week period, but youth joined the program at various points, and their levels of participation varied. For runaways who attended at least fifteen sessions, the high-risk pattern of sexual behavior dropped in frequency from 20% to zero over a six-month period. At the two-year follow-up assessment, program effects remained strongest for male and African-American participants.


This program can be implemented in a variety of community-based programs serving high-risk youths, especially runaways, providing that case management and counseling services are available. It is also appropriate for residential treatment programs.


Age, Gender
The original sample included 78 youths, ages 11 to 18 (avg.=15.5 years). 64% of participants were female.

63% African-American, 22% Latino, 8% White, 7% other.


In addition to ongoing counseling and care management services, the full intervention includes 20 group sessions, held over a three-week period. Each session is designed to last 90 to 120 minutes.


Group sessions (with approximately 10 youths) are facilitated by two leaders, preferably one male and one female, and from diverse backgrounds. Participating teens may also split into male and female groups, with same sex leaders, as warranted. Training should include the cognitive-behavioral approach to HIV/AIDS risk reduction and practice sessions. Master's level psychologists or social workers are recommended to serve as group leaders; other professional staff (e.g., lawyers, vocational counselors) should be on call to provide necessary services.

   Primary Pregnancy Prevention
   Secondary Pregnancy Prevention
   STD/HIV/AIDS Prevention


   Behavioral Skills Development
   Community Outreach
   Contraceptive Access
   Contraceptive Education
   Life Option Enhancement
   Sexuality/STD/HIV/AIDS Education

   Adult Involvement
   Case Management
   Group Discussion
   Peer Counseling/Instruction
   Public Service Announcements
   Role Play
video and art workshops


The PASHA Program Package for this program includes:

  • PASHA User's Guide
  • Adolescents Living Safely Curriculum Manual
  • 16 Adolescents Living Safely Activity Packets
  • HIV Infection and AIDS: What Everyone Should Know
  • Your Contraceptive Choices
  • Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (May 10, 2002)
  • Original Evaluation Instruments: Attitudes & Values Survey
  • Original Evaluation Instruments: Baseline Interview
  • Original Evaluation Instruments: Demographic Measures
  • Original Evaluation Instruments: Tracking Information
  • Prevention Minimum Evaluation Data Set (PMEDS)
  • Local Evaluator Consultant Network Directory

  • Telephone technical support on implementation and evaluation for 1 year