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Project TALC: Teens and Adults Learning to Communicate

Curriculum Source:

Main Message: Project TALC (Teens and Adults Learning to Communicate) is designed to provide coping skills to parents living with HIV and their adolescent children. For the parents, the goal is to reduce emotional distress and problem behaviors, such as substance use. For the children, the goal is to reduce emotional distress, problem behaviors, and teenage parenthood.

Target Population: Both genders from all racial backgrounds who are living with a parent who has HIV, 11-18 years old.

Length: Over a period of four to six years on Saturdays in local community centers.

Program Size: Small facilitated groups.


There are three components:

  1. Parent sessions
  2. Sessions for parents and adolescents
  3. Sessions for adolescents and new caregivers

The Parent Sessions:

  • The first eight sessions of the program are targeted only to parents. In these sessions, parents meet in small groups with program facilitators to learn how to adapt to their HIV status, maintain healthy lifestyles, and disclose their HIV status to their adolescent children.

Sessions for Parents and Adolescents:

  • During the second component of the intervention, both parents and their adolescent children participate in the program. The sessions address reducing emotional distress, maintaining positive family relationships, and avoiding risky behaviors, such as sexual activity and teenage pregnancy. In the session focused on teenage pregnancy, parents and adolescents discuss their beliefs concerning having a baby as a teen, think of problem- solving strategies, and engage in role-play and small-group activities. Refusal skills and condom-use skills are taught.

Sessions for Adolescents and New Caregivers:

  •  Additional sessions are available for adolescents whose parents die from the disease. These additional sessions involve participation from both the adolescents and their new guardians or caregivers and focus on dealing with loss and grief, adjusting to their new relationships, and preventing risky behaviors and teen pregnancy. Refusal skills for risky sexual activity and condom-use skills are taught.