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Safer Sex

Curriculum Source: Program materials are available by contacting Lydia Shrier, MD, MPH, Director of Clinic-based Research, Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, Children's Hospital Boston at Lydia.Shrier@childrens.harvard.edu.

Main Message: This program is a clinic-based intervention intended to reduce the incidence of STDs and improve condom use among high-risk female adolescents. It is delivered to participants individually in a clinic by a female health educator.

Target Population: Females from all racial backgrounds who are considered high-risk, average age 17 years old.

Length: Four meetings with the initial meeting of 40 minutes and three follow-up meetings at one, three, and six months to reassess their sexual risk.

Program Size: Individual bases.

Components:

There are three components to this program. The first two components are completed during the first meeting consecutively. The third component will occur at one, three, and six-month follow-up.

The three components are:

  1. Video
  2. Educational session
  3. Booster sessions

Video Component:

  • The intervention begins with participants viewing a 7-minute videotape adapted from Time Out: The Truth About AIDS, HIV, and You. The video uses celebrities to highlight and dramatize condom names, buying condoms, and negotiating condom use.

Educational Session:

  • After viewing the videotape, participants engage in a 30-minute educational session with a female health educator. The content of the session is customized to the interests and risk level of each participant and includes discussion of the consequences of unprotected sex, methods for preventing pregnancy and STDs, secondary abstinence, and condom use skills. Participants also undergo a self-assessment exercise to gauge their level of sexual risk and receive written materials about safer sex and contraception.

Booster Sessions:

  • At one, three, and six months after the initial educational session, participants are invited to return to the clinic to attend booster sessions. During these sessions, participants meet with a female health educator to reassess their level of sexual risk, discuss sexual history, and review the videotape and program materials. Participants are offered condoms and written materials.