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Pediatrics. 2009 May;123(5):e917-28. doi: 10.1542/peds.2008-2363. Epub 2009 Apr 20.

Effects through 24 months of an HIV/AIDS prevention intervention program based on protection motivation theory among preadolescents in the Bahamas.

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  • 1Carman and Ann Adams Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.



The purpose of this work was to report the intervention effects of Focus on Youth in the Caribbean (youth HIV intervention), an HIV prevention intervention based on protection motivation theory, through 24 months of follow-up on sexual risk and protection knowledge, perceptions, intentions, and behavior among Bahamian sixth-grade youth.


We randomly assigned 1360 sixth-grade youth (and their parents) attending 15 government elementary schools in the Bahamas to 1 of 3 conditions: (1) youth HIV intervention plus a parental monitoring/communication/HIV education intervention; (2) youth HIV intervention plus a parental goal-setting intervention; or (3) an environmental protection intervention plus the parental goal-setting intervention. Baseline and 4 follow-up surveys at 6-month intervals were conducted. Intervention effects were assessed using the mixed model for continuous outcome variables and the generalized linear mixed model for dichotomous outcome variables.


Through 24 months of follow-up, youth HIV intervention, in combination with the parent interventions, significantly increased youths' HIV/AIDS knowledge, perceptions of their ability to use condoms, perception of the effectiveness of condoms and abstinence, and condom use intention and significantly lowered perceived costs to remaining abstinent. There was a trend for higher condom use among youth in the Focus on Youth in the Caribbean groups at each follow-up interval.


Focus on Youth in the Caribbean, in combination with 1 of 2 parent interventions administered to preadolescents and their parents in the Bahamas, resulted in and sustained protective changes on HIV/AIDS knowledge, sexual perceptions, and condom use intention. Although rates of sexual experience remained low, the consistent trend at all of the follow-up periods for higher condom use among youth who received youth intervention reached marginal significance at 24 months. Additional follow-up is necessary to determine whether the apparent protective effect is statistically significant as more youth initiate sex and whether it endures over time.

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