Adolescents Living SafeIy: AIDS Awareness, Attitudes and Actions for Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual Teens

Sutherland Miller, Ph.D., Joyce Hunter, D.S.W & Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus, Ph.D.



Designed to provide education, social and medical services and peer support to gay, lesbian and bisexual youths between 14 and 19 years of age, this program combines case management, comprehensive health care and risk assessment counseling with small group discussion sessions. During the group sessions, transmission and prevention of HIV/AIDS are investigated through workshops in which youth create their own educational materials. 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 intervention was initiated with 138 males at a community-based agency serving gay youth in New York City. The impact of the program was found to vary over time and across racial/ethnic groups. African-American and white teens showed a significant decrease in unprotected anal intercourse at the three-month follow-up assessment; at six months the decrease was recorded only among whites. On measures of unprotected oral intercourse, white and Hispanic youths engaged in fewer risk acts through the twelve-month assessment; for African-Americans, the decrease was maintained only until six months following the intervention.


This program can be implemented in a variety of community-based and/or clinic-based programs serving youth at high risk for contracting HIV/AIDS, providing that case management and counseling services are available. This program is also suitable for implementation in residential drug treatment programs.


Age, Gender
The original sample included 138 males, ages 14 to 19 years (avg. = 16.7).

51% Latino, 31% African-American, 12% White, 6% other.


The full intervention consists of 25 group sessions in addition to regular ongoing counseling and case management services. It is recommended that two to four sessions be scheduled per week, which makes the duration of the intervention 7-10 weeks. Each session should last approximately 90 to 120 minutes.


Group sessions (with approximately 10 youths) are facilitated by two leaders, selected for their sensitivity to issues of cultural and sexual diversity. Training should include cognitive-behavioral risk reduction strategies, coping with clinical crises and group process skills. Other professionals (e.g., lawyers, vocational counselors) should be on call to provide legal counseling and other needed social 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
  • Adolescents Living Safely Activity Packets (Qty=20)
  • Resources for Bisexual Teens
  • Updating HIVAIDS Information
  • HIV Infections and AIDS: What Everyone Should Know
  • Your Contraceptive Choices
  • Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, May 10, 2002
  • Original Evaluation Instruments: Attitudes and Values Survey
  • Original Evaluation Instruments: Baseline Interview
  • 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