Background: Adolescents experience elevated rates of STDs and HIV. STD/HIV prevention interventions for
young men are crucial to decrease their STD/HIV rates and reduce disease transmission to female partners. To advance
sexual health promotion interventions for young men, this paper reviewed the efficacy of STD/HIV prevention interventions
conducted in North and Central America in the past 20 years.
Method: PubMed, Google Scholar, and EBSCO Host databases were used to locate STD/HIV interventions. Eligible
interventions were limited to STD/HIV interventions for young men between the ages of 10 and 18. We review 8
STD/HIV prevention interventions targeting heterosexual adolescent males and summarize key intervention components
and content, overview intervention efficacy outcome data, and provide directions for future research.
Results: The majority of interventions were guided by health behavior change theory. Interventions employed interactive
group-based education and behavioral skills training to reduce risky sexual behaviors. All interventions used a randomized
controlled trial design with a comparison or control group. Follow-up times varied markedly, ranging from 3
weeks to 36 months. All but one intervention improved at least one behavioral outcome (e.g., increased frequency of condom
Conclusions: Findings suggest that male adolescent interventions can effectively curtail the STD/HIV epidemic. Major
weaknesses of the reviewed studies include the reliance on self-report behavioral measures, lack of biological endpoints,
and short follow-ups. Study strengths include use of randomized control trial design and theory-based content. Future research
should increase the dissemination of effective sexual risk reduction interventions to decrease STD/HIV among adolescent
males and their female partners.