Risk Reduction Strategies used by Urban Adolescent Girls in an HIV Prevention Trial
Dianne Morrison-Beedy, Hugh F. Crean, Denise Passmore and Michael P. Carey
Affiliation: University of South Florida, College of Nursing, 12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd, MDC 22, Tampa, FL 33612, USA.
Adolescent girls throughout the globe are particularly vulnerable to HIV infection. In the U.S., sexually-active,
adolescent girls in urban settings are at elevated risk for HIV. The purpose of this study was to describe a theoreticallydriven,
HIV prevention intervention tailored for adolescent girls and evaluate its effectiveness in reducing sexually-risky
behaviors. Sexually-active urban adolescent girls (n=738) recruited in a mid-size, northeastern U.S. city were recruited for
a randomized controlled trial and participated in a theory-based, sexual risk reduction intervention or a structurallyequivalent
health promotion control group. Preferred sexual risk-reduction strategies were collected using ACASI at
baseline, then at 3, 6 and 12-months post-intervention. The manualized interventions included four small group sessions
and two booster sessions all of which included information, motivational and behavioral skill constructs. Facilitators were
trained in motivational interviewing and incorporated this technique throughout the sessions. Relative to girls in the
control group, girls receiving the sexual risk-reduction intervention were more likely to increase the number of sexual-risk
reduction strategies at post-intervention; however, girls in the control group also increased the number of strategies used
though not at the same rate. Theory-based, HIV interventions tailored to adolescent girls can help increase sexual riskreduction
behaviors and provide girls with a menu of options to employ. Due to the manualized structure of this
randomized controlled trial, the intervention could be modified to meet the needs of adolescent girls throughout the world.
Trial Registration: This study is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT 00161343).
Keywords: Adolescents, females, HIV, interventions, motivational interviewing, sexual risk-reduction.
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