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FOCUS: Preventing Sexually Transmitted Infections and Unwanted Pregnancies among Young Women

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Main Message: This program is a cognitive-behavioral group intervention designed to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancies among young women.  This program was originally delivered to female U.S. Marine Corps recruits during their first week of training, however now the program can be expanded to other settings such as clinical.  The program focuses on key elements of the information, motivation, and behavioral skills model.

Target Population: Women 16 years and older, all races, who are sexually inactive and active

Length: Four sessions that are implemented in two hour segments by two female facilitators

Program Size: 20-25 participants


  1. Increase knowledge about unintended pregnancies and STIs, and modify values, beliefs, and attitudes that impact sexual behavior
  2. Increase knowledge about contraceptives, and build skills to effectively communicate with one’s partner about sexual behavior and contraceptive use
  3. Increase knowledge about the signs, symptoms, and consequences of STIs, and increase knowledge about the transmission and prevention of STIs
  4. Modify attitudes about the effects of alcohol and its relationship to sexual risk behaviors, build condom use skills, and increase awareness about how military life can impact sexual decision-making and health