AIDS Prevention for Adolescents in School

Heather Walter, M.D., M.P.H. & Roger D. Vaughan, M.S.



This six-session program for high school students is delivered by regular classroom teachers. Combining principles of the health belief model with social psychology, the curriculum aims to improve students' knowledge, beliefs, self-efficacy and risk behaviors concerning HlV/AlDS. The first two classes provide general information about the transmission and prevention of HIV/AIDS and teach students how to appraise their own risk behaviors. During the next two sessions, myths about peers' sexual behaviors are corrected, values clarification is introduced and students use role play and negotiation skills to practice delaying sexual intercourse. The final lessons involve discussions of purchasing and using condoms. A field study of the program was conducted with a predominantly African-American and Hispanic sample of students attending four New York City public high schools. Compared with a comparison group of peers, program participants scored significantly higher on measures of knowledge, beliefs about the benefits of risk reduction, and beliefs about one's own ability to effect positive change (e.g., self-efficacy). At the three-month follow-up assessment, the program was found to be particularly effective in reducing sexually active participants' number of total sex partners and number of sex acts with high-risk partners, and in increasing the use of condoms.


Although it was originally implemented in school classrooms, this program is equally suitable for use in community-based organizations.


Age, Gender
The field study included 1,201 students ages 12 to 20 years (avg. age= 15.7 yrs.). 58% of the participants were female.

37% African-American, 35% Latino, 28% other (mostly non-Hispanic White or Asian).


The six-hour program is divided into six class lessons that are delivered on consecutive school days.


Regular classroom teachers implement the program. A one-day in-service training session is recommended to introduce teachers to the curriculum's objectives and activities.

   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


The PASHA Program Package for this program includes:

  • PASHA User's Guide
  • AIDS Prevention for Adolescents in School Curriculum Handbook
  • AIDS Prevention for Adolescents in School Student Activity Booklet Masters
  • Tracee and Andy Think It Through video clip
  • Resource Guide for Sex Educators
  • Adolescent Sexual Health Resources Available from Sociometrics
  • Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, May 10, 2002
  • Set of Original Evaluation Instruments
  • Prevention Minimum Evaluation Data Set (PMEDS)
  • Local Evaluator Consultant Network Directory

  • Telephone technical support on implementation and evaluation for 1 year