209094 A School-based teenage education program focusing on Alcohol and HIV prevention

Monday, November 9, 2009: 5:15 PM

Rosy Chhabra, PsyD , Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Yeshiva University, Bronx, NY
Carolyn Springer, PhD , Psychology, Adelphi University, Garden City, NY
Sonia Suchday, PhD , Institute of Public Health Sciences, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology/Institute of Public Health Sciences of Yeshiva University, Bronx, NY
Nehama Teitelman, BA , Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Yeshiva University, Bronx, NY
Purpose & information: Given the current status of HIV infection in youth in India, developing and implementing HIV education and prevention interventions is critically important. Funded by NIAAA, the goal for STEP (School-based Teenage Education Program) was to demonstrate that a HIV/AIDS and alcohol abuse educational program built with specific cultural, linguistic, and community-specific characteristics could be effective.

Method: This program was aimed at educating Indian youth aged 13-21 years. The target group was 13-16 year old 8th/9th graders (n= 7547; males 49.6%). Utilizing the Train-the-Trainer model, the instructors (17-21yrs undergraduate students) were selected and trained to present the 10 session manualized program with a pre-post program evaluation.

Results: T-tests indicate that youth showed a significant increase in their knowledge level regarding HIV/AIDS (8.22 vs 6.58; p<.001); improved attitudes towards PWHAs ( 37.40 vs 35.78; p<.001); improved communication skills ( 22.95 vs 21.24; p <.001); less perceived risky behavior (9.01 vs 9.38; p<.001); higher confidence in dealing with risky social situation (15.50 vs 14.96; p<.001); and higher efficacy (37.40 vs 35.78; p<.001) in utilizing newly learned skills from the program. Gender differences were significant on the self-efficacy scale with males reporting feeling significantly more self efficacious than females after the program.

Recommendations: Tailoring health education programs in view of social, cultural and economic constraints is imperative in successfully responding to synergistic effects of HIV/AIDS and alcohol abuse in youth. Utilizing the local community in designing, implementing and evaluating programs promotes ownership and sustainability.

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrating how a culturally appropriate, community owned program can be successfully designed, implemented and evaluated.

Keywords: Adolescents, International, Adolescent Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the PI of the study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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