Intervention programs cut risky sex acts

October 4, 2005

Community-level intervention programs for young adolescents delay early sexual intercourse, Yale University scientists say.

Researchers also determined such programs increase condom use and reduce the risky sexual behavior that can result in sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS.

The intervention consisted of AIDS education, skills training, peer influence and both family and neighborhood support to avoid and reduce high-risk behavior among adolescents.

The authors said community-level interventions have proven to be successful with gay men, injection drug users and inner-city women, but this was one of the first studies to target adolescents.

Study participants were 12- to 17-year-olds residing in 15 low-income U.S. housing developments. Each housing development was randomly assigned to the full community-level intervention, a skills-training-only workshop or an AIDS education-only program.

The study is detailed in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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