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AIDS Behav. 2011 Jul;15(5):976-91. doi: 10.1007/s10461-010-9745-5.

HIV prevention among African American youth: how well have evidence-based interventions addressed key theoretical constructs?

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  • 1Research Application Branch, Division of Adolescent and School Health, CDC, 4770 Buford Highway, NE, Mailstop K-12, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA.


Certain constructs are demonstrated in the research literature to be related to HIV risk behaviors among African American adolescents. This study examines how well these constructs are addressed in evidence-based interventions (EBIs) developed for this population. A literature review on variables for sexual risk behaviors among African American adolescents was undertaken. Simultaneously, a review was conducted of the contents of HIV-prevention EBIs. To facilitate comparison, findings from both were organized into constructs from prominent behavior change theories. Analysis showed that environmental conditions and perceived norms were frequently associated with sexual risk behaviors in the literature, while EBIs devoted considerable time to knowledge, skills, and self-efficacy. Findings imply that (a) EBIs might be complemented with activities that focus on important constructs identified in the literature and (b) researchers should better assess the relationship between skill development and HIV risk behaviors. Implications for practice and research are discussed.

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