program for high school students emphasizes behavioral skill development.
During the first several classes, students study transmission and prevention
of HIV, teen vulnerability to the virus and determinants of risky behaviors.
In the second half of the program, students learn and repeatedly practice
skills to help them identify, manage, avoid and leave risky situations.
The final sessions help students integrate what they have learned in
the program into their own lives. The program encourages teens to delay
having intercourse, or for those youth who do become sexually active,
to be sexually monogamous; avoid drugs and alcohol that could cloud
one's judgment during intercourse; practice safer sex; get tested for
HIV if they believe they are at risk; and avoid sharing needles. A field
study of the curriculum was conducted in seventeen Colorado high schools
serving rural, suburban and urban populations. In a six month follow-up
assessment comparing Get Real about AIDS® participants with a comparison
group of peers, sexually-active program participants had fewer sexual
partners, purchased and used condoms more frequently, intended to engage
in sex less frequently and planned to use condoms when they did. The
evaluation data did not record, however, a delay in the onset of sexual
activity, a decrease the frequency of sexual activity or a reduction
in drug and alcohol use prior to sex.
SUITABLE FOR USE
Although it was
originally implemented in high school classrooms, this program is equally
suitable for use in community-based organizations.
A total of 2,849
teens participated in the study; the average age was 15 years. 51 %
of the teens were male.
65% White, 21% Latino, 6% African-American, 3% Asian, 5% other.
The program is divided
into fourteen class sessions; the sessions can be scheduled to suit
your own needs.
The program is led
by regular classroom teachers, preferably in health or science classes.
Special training for instructors is also available from the Comprehensive
Health Education Foundation, the original developers of the program.
Videotaping and critiques of practice lessons are also recommended.