Promising Programs

Promising Programs versus Evidence-Based Programs

What's the difference?

Evidence-based programs are interventions that have been shown through rigorous evaluation to change the sexual risk-taking behaviors of the participants. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Adolescent Health has assembled a list of programs that meet these criteria. Promising programs are not on this list, primarily because they have not completed a rigorous evaluation to prove effectiveness.

Do "Promising Programs" work?

Even though promising programs lack evidence of success, they may still be effective. Most of these programs have been shown to produce favorable results. However, because of other factors (a small sample size or the way data were collected in studies, for example), promising programs do not meet the strict criteria needed to be considered evidence-based. Keep in mind that a promising program can still provide some benefit.

Why would I choose a "Promising Program" over an Evidence-based Program?

When selecting a program to implement with your young people, you should review evidence-based programs first. If none of the evidence-based programs fit the needs or demographics of your young people, the resources available at your organization, or the values of your community, then you may want to consider a promising program. You can use the tool to Assess the Characteristics of Effective Sex and STD/HIV Education Programs to determine the potential effectiveness of a program. The more characteristics a program has, the higher the chance of it changing the sexual risk-taking behaviors of your youth participants.

All communities have unique needs. Use our Assess for Fit tool to help you determine which program is right for you.

Adolescents Living Safely: AIDS, Attitudes, Awareness and Action

AIDS Prevention for Adolescents in School Focus on Kids: An HIV Prevention Program for African American Youth Get Real About AIDS< Positive Prevention Reach for Health

Tailoring Family Planning Services to the Special Needs of Adolescents

Teen Talk

Adolescents Living Safely: AIDS, Attitudes, Awareness and Action

Designed for high-risk youth, this is an 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. Read more...

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AIDS Prevention for Adolescents in School

This school-based (also suitable for community settings), teacher-delivered curriculum for urban high school students seeks to increase knowledge about HIV/AIDS, build skills to recognize and prevent behaviors that put youth at risk of HIV infection, and encourage youth to make healthy decisions. ;Read more...

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Focus on Kids: an HIV Prevention Program for African American Youth

This program is a culturally based HIV risk reduction intervention program directed towards both genders of the African American community who engage in high-risk sexual behaviors. It aims to increase awareness about condom use, intention, and perceptions about condom use. This is an 8-session program. Read more...

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Get Real About AIDS

Get Real About AIDS is an HIV prevention curriculum that addresses sexual risk-taking behaviors related to pregnancy prevention, including: delaying sexual activity, using condoms, being monogamous if sexually active, and avoiding risky situations. This is a 14-lesson program. Read more...

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Positive Prevention

Positive Prevention is an HIV/STD curriculum aimed at students 7th-12th grade. These youth are taught the facts of HIV prevention, transmission, and how the disease works. There are social elements of defining stereotyping, refusal skills, and risk reduction. This is a 6-lesson program.Read more...

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Reach for Health

This program aims to reach African American and Hispanic youth in middle school by having the youth participate in service activities within their communities while at the same time reducing early and unprotected sexual activity through the educational components. This program is taught over a traditional school year. Read more...

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Tailoring Family Planning Services to the Special Needs of Adolescents

This program is based on the premise that regular contraceptive use by teens can be increased by offering information, social support, and counseling, in addition to health and medical services. Accordingly, the program aims to provide family planning services in a manner that will increase teens' sense of comfort, increase their self-confidence, and reduce any fears that may discourage regular and effective contraception. Read more...

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Teen Talk

Curriculum is a collaborative effort between schools and community based health centers in comprehensive sexuality education. Program was especially beneficial to males, leading to delay in the onset of sexual activity among male virgins and more contraceptive use among sexually experienced males. Read more...

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