HIV Prevention Programs Help Black Teen Girls
Study finds efforts tailored to them reduce risk of sexually transmitted diseases
SUNDAY, July 11, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- HIV prevention programs tailored to black teenage girls help reduce their chances of getting pregnant or getting HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), says a study in the July 14 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The study included 522 sexually experienced black girls aged 14 to 18 who were divided into two groups. Those in the HIV intervention group received information on ethnic and gender pride, HIV knowledge, communication, condom use skills, and healthy relationships.
The girls in the comparison group received information on exercise and nutrition. Both groups received four four-hour group sessions. Data was gathered at the start of the study and at 6- and 12-month follow-up.
The study found that girls in the intervention group were more likely than those in the comparison group (75.3 percent vs. 58.2 percent) to report using condoms consistently in the 30 days before the 6-month assessment and the 12-month assessment (73.3 percent vs. 56.5 percent).
"Additionally, participants in the HIV intervention were more likely to report using a condom at last vaginal sexual intercourse, less likely to self-report a pregnancy, and less likely to report having a new vaginal sex partner in the 30 days prior to assessments," the study authors wrote.
"In response to the growing HIV epidemic among adolescents, there is a clear, cogent and compelling urgency to develop and implement prevention interventions. Ultimately, to be optimally effective, the primary prevention of HIV among adolescents must emerge from the stigma of a hidden epidemic and become a public health priority," the study authors concluded.
The U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has more about HIV in adolescents.