4277.0: Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - 4:30 PM

Abstract #3667

Gay/Straight Alliance HIV Prevention Project: Reaching young men who have sex with men in a school-based setting

Julie Netherland, MSW, Margot E. Abels, MA, and Michael Gaucher, MA. Department of Education, Massachusetts Department of Education HIV/AIDS Program, 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148, 781-338-6312, jnetherland@doe.mass.edu

Public health theory points to the efficacy of HIV prevention strategies the specifically target those groups at highest risk for HIV. HIV epidemiology and risk behavior data clearly identify young men who have sex with men as an at-risk population. Schools provide an ideal setting for reaching a critical mass of young people, however, few models of targeted prevention education exist for school settings.

Based on data from the Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the Massachusetts Young Men Who Have Sex With Men Survey and focus groups, the Massachusetts Department of Education’s HIV/AIDS Program developed an 8 session curriculum piloted in 5 Gay/Straight Alliances (GSA’s). The project focuses on the unique issues of gay, lesbian, bisexual students and their allies. GSA’s competitively applied for mini-grants to participate in curriculum sessions and conducted one-on-one and event outreach based on both diffusion of innovation and peer leadership models. The curriculum addressed broad issues of sexuality including relationships and dating for gay youth, media literacy, critiquing messages about gay sexuality, understanding motivations and desires and connecting homophobia to HIV risk. Pre- and post-test questionnaires measuring knowledge, attitude and intent have been administered. Focus groups and a midyear survey have been used to refine project content and design.

Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the program is a model of prevention education efforts that meet the unique needs of gay, lesbian, bisexual and questioning youth in a school-based setting.

Learning Objectives: Objectives:  To present quantitative and qualitative data that describes the unique context and HIV risks of young men who have sex with men, gay, lesbian and bisexual students  To provide an overview of project components and curriculum sessions  To describe related evaluation activities  To illustrate strategies for school-based, targeted prevention

Keywords: Adolescent Health, School Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA