a Responsible Teen: An HIV Risk Reduction Program for Adolescents
Although the focus of BART is HIV/AIDS prevention, the curriculum includes topics and activities relevant to teen pregnancy prevention. Teens learn to clarify their own values about sexual decisions and pressures as well as practice skills to reduce sexual risk-taking. These include correct condom use, assertive communication, refusal techniques, self-management, and problem solving. Also, abstinence is woven throughout the curriculum and is discussed as the best way to prevent HIV infection and pregnancy.
BART has been used in a variety of settings with youth from different cultures.
Youth who participate in BART will be able to:
BART is comprised of the following eight sessions:
The features that distinguish BART from other HIV prevention curricula are:
BART is based on Social Learning Theory and Self-efficacy Theory. These theories are reflected in BART in four major ways:
African-American adolescents, separated by gender, attended eight (8) weekly sessions of a sexuality education program that included behavioral skills training. In addition to information about AIDS and prevention of HIV infection, the youth participated in activities to build skills in correct condom use, assertive communication, refusal, information provision, self management, problem-solving, and risk recognition. Group sizes ranged from 5 to 15, and sessions lasted from 90 to 120 minutes each. Fourteen sets of sessions were conducted over three years in a comprehensive community health center serving predominately low-income minority residents in a Southern urban area of 400,000.
Of the youth who were sexually abstinent prior to the intervention, only 11.5% were sexually active one year later compared with 31% of participants in the control group. Among those sexually active prior to the intervention, 42% of the control group remained so after one year versus only 27% of the intervention group. In comparison to their behavior before the intervention, and in comparison with those in the control group, youth who participated in the intervention were more likely to use condoms and less likely to engage in unprotected vaginal or anal intercourse.
Other Significant Findings
Despite the fact that both groups received the same basic information component, the intervention group scored higher on the AIDS knowledge test than the control group and maintained that lead across the 12-month follow-up period. Moreover, youth from the intervention group were more skillful than those in the control group in handling pressures to engage in unprotected sex and in providing information to peers.
Two hundred forty-six adolescents were randomly assigned either to a control condition or to the experimental intervention. The control condition consisted of a single two-hour session that provided information about HIV/AIDS including its nature, prevention, and impact on the local community. Interactive discussions were interspersed with games, activities, and problem solving. The first session of the experimental intervention was identical to the control condition.
Participants completed questionnaires before, immediately after, and at 6-month intervals for one year after the intervention. Of the original 246 participants, 91.5% completed the 12-month follow-up. Measures included HIV risk, sexual behaviors, self-efficacy, attitude toward condoms, and HIV/AIDS knowledge.
For more information about BART, see the references below: