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AIDS Behav. 2014 Oct;18(10):1847-63. doi: 10.1007/s10461-014-0807-y.

Factors underlying the success of behavioral HIV-prevention interventions for adolescents: a meta-review.

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Center for Health, Intervention and Prevention, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA,


The purpose of this meta-review was to identify characteristics of successful HIV prevention interventions for adolescents based on quantitative (i.e., meta-analyses) and qualitative reviews published to date, and to inform intervention utilization and future development. To that end, we were guided by principles of triangulation. Searches of seven electronic bibliographic databases yielded five meta-analyses and six qualitative reviews that satisfied the selection criteria. Reviews were subjected to careful content analysis. All reviews reported that behavioral interventions had positive outcomes on at least one of the following outcomes: HIV-related knowledge, subjective cognitions and beliefs enabling safer sex, abstinence, delaying next sexual intercourse, decreasing number of sexual partners, and actual condom use. Four categories, suggesting factors more prominently linked to intervention success, emerged: behavior change techniques (e.g., cognitive-behavior and motivation enhancement skills training); recipient characteristics (e.g., age, vulnerability to contracting STIs/HIV); prominent design features (e.g., use of theory, formative research); and socio-ecological features (e.g., supportive school environment). Future interventions would benefit from conducting preliminary formative research in order to enable optimal implementation of all these factors.

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