To effectively combat the AIDS health crisis among adolescents, future research must address three key issues: (a) the risk of disease for culturally differing adolescent populations, particularly African-American adolescents; (b) the need for empirical investigations to identify and understand the variables influencing adolescents ‘adoption of HIV-preventive sexual practices; and (c) the development of more effective prevention programs to reduce adolescents’ existing HIV-associated risk behaviors. This article reviews the relevance of these issues for prevention research and suggests policy recommendations. These recommendations argue for: (a) expanded funding for basic behavioral surveys to identify the prevalence of risk-taking behavior among adolescents in general, and among high-risk adolescent subgroups, for example, incarcerated and homeless adolescents; (b) encouraging more epidemiologic and ethnographic research to understand the psychosocial and cultural variables associated with high and low-risk behavior among understudied and underserved racial/ethnic populations such as African-American adolescents; and (c) urging that evaluation of HIV prevention programs include multisite trials and larger samples in ethnically and geographically diverse populations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science