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Adolescents Living Safely: AIDS, Attitudes, Awareness and Action

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Main Message: This is a HIV risk reduction program originally designed to meet the comprehensive needs of runaway youth, who are at high risk for STD/HIV/AIDS.  Based on cognitive behavioral model that has guided several previous health promotion efforts with adolescent, the program encourages skill building and self efficacy in an environment of peer support.  The importance of safe sex is emphasized throughout the lessons. 

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

Length:In addition to ongoing counseling and case management services, the full intervention includes 20 small group discussion sessions held over a three week period, each session designed to last 90 to 120 minutes with one session of private counseling.

Program Size:Group sessions with approximately 6 to 10 participants are facilitated by two leaders. 


  1. Knowledge:  Facts about HIV
  2. Coping Skills:  Participants receive training to address unrealistic expectations about their ability to cope in high risk situations.  They identify and practice behavioral and cognitive coping responses to such situations.
  3. Health Care:  In the field study of the program, participants made at least one visit to a community based agency providing vocational and educational counseling, recreational opportunities and referrals for comprehensive health and mental care and legal aid.

Individual Barriers:  Through private counseling sessions, participants review their individual barriers to safer sex, especially negative attitudes.