Vanessa Toney Bobb and Edward Feller, MD. Community Health, Brown Medical School, Box G-8138, Providence, RI 02912, 917-723-0546, Vanessa_Bobb@brown.edu
School-based HIV prevention interventions can be effective in improving safer sex practices and attitudes in adolescents at risk. Little information exists in programs utilizing medical students as facilitators. We report initial results of a collaboration between Brown Medical School and the Metropolitan Regional Technical Center, an inner-city high school in Providence, RI. We created a curriculum to assess and improve knowledge related to HIV and safe sex practices and we explored the role of medical students as mentors to inner city youth. This pilot HIV /STD risk reduction intervention, was tested on 91 students and included question and answer-based group discussions led by a trained medical student, a STD slide presentation, and practical demonstration. Written and verbal information from participants was recorded to assess if students' perception of increased knowledge or attitude shift occurred. Focus groups and workshops revealed wide variation in prior knowledge. 46% of participants were sexually experienced, yet condom use was inconsistent; level of sexual activity correlated with age. 9% of participants were parents or were currently pregnant. Reasons for low condom compliance included low perceived risk, decreased sexual pleasure with condom use, and difficulty negotiating condom use with partners. Medical students (MS), buttressed by school and medical faculty support, were perceived by participants as effective in communicating sexual health information and facilitating behavioral change. We plan to make the MS driven curriculum accessible via a website, create a HIV/AIDS instructional video, and to extend the adolescent health education series to areas including asthma and teen pregnancy.
Keywords: HIV Interventions, School-Based Programs
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA