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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Common Principles Embedded in Effective Adolescent HIV Prevention Programs

  • Author(s): Rotheram-Borus, Mary Jane
  • Ingram, Barbara L.
  • Swendeman, Dallas
  • Flannery, Diane
  • et al.

Each interpersonally delivered, evidence-based (EB) program for HIV prevention shares common features that aim to shift HIV risk behaviors. We used qualitative research methods to examine manuals from five EB programs for adolescents and identified 10 core principles embedded in each program’s activities. Principles reflect the stated goals and anticipated lessons in an activity. The principles were: Believe in your own worth and your right to a happy future; Commit to change; Distinguish fact from myth; Plan ahead and be prepared; Practice self-control; Know pleasurable alternatives to high risk activities; Negotiate verbally, not nonverbally; Evaluate options and consequences; Show concern for others; Choose to limit your own freedom; and Act to help others protect themselves. Focusing on common features rather than the unique properties of each EB program may allow community providers to have more flexibility and ownership in adapting EB programs, and may also facilitate development of new EB program.

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