StaySafe: Reducing Risk Among Adolescents

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Minority group inner-city adolescents are
at particular risk for acquiring HIV/STDs. Interventions based on Social
Cognitive theory have been successful in reducing risk, but the magnitude of
effects has been small. We propose a new intervention, StaySafe, to inner-city
teens aged 13-16 who are virgins. StaySafe will provide a basic HIV/STD harm
reduction intervention in 8 sessions based on Social Cognitive Theory. However,
we will augment this content with sessions on gender, gender roles, gender
beliefs, and HIV risk. We will then engage them as paid collaborators with us
in a Participatory Action Research project on gender and HIV/STD risk. They
will help develop the study, conduct media analysis, do participant observation
on gender behavior in their communities, and participate in data analysis and
interpretation. Our hypothesis is that learning how gender contributes to risk
for HIV by being a participant in action research will give them ownership of
the complex ideas underpinning gender norms and provide the tools they need to
recognize and resist gendered messages that increase HIV/STD risk. StaySafe
will have two parts: (1) a paid 8-session HIV /STD prevention program that
provides skills and knowledge about sexual risk reduction and includes gender
role content, and (2) a paid position on the "Gender and HIV" research study
for 6 weeks working 4 hours per week. We propose a three-group intent-to-treat
randomized controlled trial involving 600 minority group inner-city adolescents
recruited from Montefiore Medical Center (200 per group). The two control
groups are: (1) Staycool, an 8-session HIV/STD harm reduction program that uses
the same HIV curriculum as StaySafe but without the gender content or the
research experience; and (2) So4Real, an 8-session HIV/STD harm reduction
program that uses the same HIV curriculum as Staysafe, including the gender
content, but without the research experience. Contrasting StayCool with So4Real
will assess the effectiveness of adding gender content to HIV/STD
interventions; comparing So4Real to Staysafe will assess the effect of the
gender content combined with the research internship. Adolescents will be
interviewed five times: baseline; T2 (2 months after baseline when curriculum
training is completed, to assess effects of the training itself); T3 (4 months
later, 6 months post-baseline, when the StaySafe internship experience is
completed to assess the effects of the gender internship); T4 (one year after
baseline) and T5 (1 8 months post baseline) to assess longer-term effects.
Effective start/end date4/9/023/31/08


  • Medicine(all)
  • Infectious Diseases


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