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J Adolesc Health. 2014 Aug;55(2):228-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.01.016. Epub 2014 Mar 19.

Adolescent age at time of receipt of one or more sexual risk reduction interventions.

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Pediatric Prevention Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan. Electronic address:
The Bahamas Ministries of Health and Education, Nassau, The Bahamas.
Pediatric Prevention Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan.



Age of the target audience at time of intervention is thought to be a critical variable influencing the effectiveness of adolescent sexual risk reduction interventions. Despite this postulated importance, to date, studies have not been designed to enable a direct comparison of outcomes according to age at the time of intervention delivery.


We examined outcomes of 598 youth who were sequentially involved in two randomized controlled trials of sexual risk prevention interventions, the first one delivered in grade 6 (Focus on Youth in the Caribbean [FOYC]) and the second one in grade 10 (Bahamian Focus on Older Youth [BFOOY]). Four groups were examined, including those who received (1) both treatment conditions, FOYC and BFOOY; (2) FOYC in grade 6 and the control condition in grade 10; (3) the control condition in grade 6 and BFOOY in grade 10; and (4) both control conditions. Intentions, perceptions, condom-use skills, and HIV-related knowledge were assessed over 60 months.


Data showed that those who received both interventions had the greatest increase in condom-use skills. Youth who received FOYC in grade 6 had greater scores in knowledge and intention.


These results suggest that youth receive the most protection with early and repeated exposure to interventions. These findings suggest that educators should consider implementing HIV prevention and risk reduction programs as a fixed component of education curriculum beginning in the preadolescent years and if possible also during the adolescent years.


Adolescence; Condom-use skills; HIV prevention intervention; Randomized controlled trials; Risk reduction behavior

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