Timing of HIV interventions on reductions in sexual risk among adolescents

Mary Jane Rotberam-Borus, Marya Gwadz, M. Isa Fernandez, Shobha Srinivasan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Examined the effectiveness of an HIV intervention program among 151 adolescents ages 13 to 24 years who were randomly assigned to (a) seven sessions of 1.5 hr each (10.5 hr); (b) three sessions of 3.5 hr each (10.5 hr); or (c) a no-intervention condition. Using cognitive-behavioral intervention strategies, social skills and HIV-related beliefs, perceptions, and norms were targeted in both the three- and seven-session, small-group intervention conditions. Regression analysis indicated that over 3 months, the number of unprotected risk acts and the number of sexual partners were lower in the seven-session condition compared to the other conditions. Factors mediating risk acts changed in a complex manner: For example, perceived vulnerability increased for those with initially lower vulnerability scores among youths in the seven-session condition compared to others. Self-approval of condom use was also higher for those with initially low scores in the seven-session compared to the three-session condition. Self-efficacy for risk avoidance and condom use was significantly higher in the three-session condition for those with initially low scores compared to other groups. On the role-play measure, those with higher baseline scores in the low-pressure situation improved significantly only in the three-session intervention; in the high-pressure situation, the participants reported significantly higher scores in the seven-session intervention, and those with higher scores improved the most. Results suggest the importance of multisession HIV intervention programs to be delivered with fidelity in community settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-96
Number of pages24
JournalAmerican journal of community psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998


  • Cognitive-behavioral treatment
  • HIV prevention
  • Intervention dose
  • Sexual behavior
  • Small-group intervention
  • Social cognitive predictors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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