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J Adolesc Health. 1997 Mar;20(3):204-15.

Effectiveness of the 40 adolescent AIDS-risk reduction interventions: a quantitative review.

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Center for Minority Health Research, University of Maryland, Baltimore 21201, USA.



(1) To review evaluations of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) prevention interventions targeting adolescents to determine whether these efforts have been effective in reducing risk behaviors. (2) To examine the relation between intervention design issues and outcomes measures.


A systematic review of five electronic databases and hand-searches of 11 journals, were undertaken for articles published from January 1983 through November 1995 that reported evaluations of adolescent AIDS risk-reduction interventions conducted in the United States. Outcomes examined include: improved attitudes about AIDS risk and protective behaviors, increased intention to abstain from sexual intercourse or to use condoms, and reduced sexual risk behaviors.


Forty studies that met preestablished inclusion criteria were found. For each outcome assessed, a majority of studies found a positive intervention impact (88% of studies assessing changes in knowledge; 58% changes in attitude, 60% changes in intention to use condoms, 73% in condom use, and 64% in decreasing number of sexual partners). Interventions that demonstrated an increase in intention to use a condom were significantly more likely to be theory-based than those that did not show any significant changes in intention (100% vs. 0%, p = .048). Interventions that increased condom use and decreased the number of sexual partners were longer in duration than those that did not improve these outcomes.


AIDS risk reduction interventions can be effective in improving knowledge, attitudes, and behavioral intentions and in reducing risk practices. The positive relationship between improved outcomes and several elements of intervention design underscores the need for increased focus on intervention design in future studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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