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Roll-out of proven HIV/STD risk-reduction intervention with teens by community groups successful
Date:4/6/2010

Philadelphia An approach designed to reduce HIV/STDs previously used exclusively by academic researchers has successfully been implemented by community-based organizations (CBOs), an important component in national strategies to curtail the spread of HIV, meaning far more "at risk" youths can be reached.

A new study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania tested whether a proven HIV/STD risk-reduction intervention would work when led by CBOs, who have played a vital role in the ongoing fight against HIV. The Penn study found that the CBOs were able to successfully implement an evidence-based HIV/STD risk-reduction intervention with adolescents. The intervention did not reduce the frequency of sexual intercourse, yet the HIV/STD-intervention participants reported a greater proportion of condom-protected intercourse.

The study also looked at the impact of extended training and found that CBO facilitators who received more training were no more effective than those who received a basic intervention packet alone. Results suggest that the training of CBO facilitators does not need to be "extraordinarily extensive or expensive" to achieve desired results, according to researchers.

"Community-based organizations have been on the front lines of the HIV/AIDS fight since the beginning of the epidemic, and this study shows their ability to successfully apply interventions designed to prevent STD transmission in a vulnerable population," said study author John B. Jemmott III, PhD, professor of Communication in Psychiatry and of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine and Annenberg School for Communication.

In the United States, young adults between 15 and 24 years old only constitute one quarter of the sexually active population, yet they account for about half of new STD cases. The same age group accounts for half of all new HIV infections.

Interventions were led by 86 community-based org
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Contact: Kim Guenther
kim.guenther@uphs.upenn.edu
215-662-6183
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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