Objective: The study examined the efficacy of family-based and adolescentonly HIV prevention programs in decreasing HIV risk and improving parental monitoring and sexual communication among youths in mental health treatment. Methods: A randomized controlled trial (RCT) with 721 adolescents (ages 13-18 years) and their caregivers from mental health settings in three U.S. cities were randomly assigned to one of three theory-based, structured group interventions: family-based HIV prevention, adolescent-only HIV prevention, and adolescent-only health promotion. Interventions were delivered during an all-day workshop. Assessments were completed at baseline and three months postintervention. Results: Compared with those in the health intervention, adolescents in the HIV prevention interventions reported fewer unsafe sex acts (adjusted rate ratio=.49, p=.01), greater condom use (adjusted relative change=59%, p=.01), and greater likelihood of avoiding sex (adjusted odds ratio=1.44, p=.05). They also showed improved HIV knowledge (p<.01) and self-efficacy (p<.05). The family-based intervention, compared with the other interventions, produced significant improvements in parent-teen sexual communication (p<.01), parental monitoring (p<.01), and parental permissiveness (p=.05). Conclusions: This RCT found that the HIV prevention interventions reduced sexual risk behavior over three months in a large, diverse sample of youths in mental health treatment and that the family-based intervention improved parental monitoring and communication with teens about sex. These interventions show promise.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health