Online Program

Teenage African American males giving back to their own communities as peer advocates for male health on Chicago's south side

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pat W. Mosena, PhD, Options for Youth, Chicago, IL
Grace Philipp, BA, Options for Youth, Chicago, IL
Access to reproductive health information and services is limited for young men growing up in underserved neighborhoods on Chicago's south side. Information about sexuality and gender roles often comes from the “street” and girls are often viewed as “targets” rather than partners in a healthy relationship. In these neighborhoods, approximately 68% of households are female-headed, high school graduation rates hover around 50%, and teen pregnancy, STDs and HIV/AIDS rates are twice to three times those for the city of Chicago. Teenage girls are often introduced to the health care system through pregnancy, whereas many young men gain access only through hospital emergency rooms. For the past 13 years, the Peer Advocates for Health (PAH) program has been working to correct gender disparities in access to reproductive health information and services by providing comprehensive training to school-age African American males and employment in their own communities as Peer Advocates for male health. PAH has trained 270 young men from 42 south side high schools. Significant increases in reproductive health knowledge (p<.001), communication (p=.001), and utilization of clinic services (p=.047) have been reported among PAH participants. In turn, these Peer Advocates have provided information to over 9,000 of their peers, accompanied 200 young men for clinic services, and distributed 80,000 condoms. PAH improves decision- making and lifestyle choices among program participants and these Peer Advocates impact the larger south side as they provide information and serve as role models in their own schools and communities.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Identify barriers to accessing reproductive health information and services among adolescent males in underserved, inner-city neighborhoods. Describe a program model for school-age African American males that provides intense training and employment as Peer Advocates for male health in their own schools and communities. Discuss impacts of the Peer Advocates for Health program at the participant and community levels.

Keyword(s): Male Reproductive Health, Access and Services

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I founded the Peer Advocates for Health program 13 years ago and have been intimately involved with the design, refinement, and evaluation of the program model that is effective in serving adolescent males in Chicago.
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.