To test the efficacy of a prevention intervention to reduce sexual risk behavior among Latino adolescents.
Randomized controlled trial from April 2000 through March 2003, with data collection before and after intervention and at 3, 6, and 12 months.
Northeast Philadelphia schools.
Latinos aged 13 through 18 years (249 males and 304 females); 81.6% retained at 12-month follow-up.
The HIV and health-promotion control interventions consisted of six 50-minute modules delivered by adult facilitators to small, mixed-gender groups in English or Spanish.
Main Outcome Measure
Self-reported sexual behavior.
Analyses using generalized estimation equations over the follow-up period revealed that adolescents in the HIV intervention were less likely to report sexual intercourse (odds ratio, 0.66; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.46-0.96), multiple partners (odds ratio, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.31-0.90), and days of unprotected intercourse (relative risk, 0.47; 95% CI, 0.26-0.84) and more likely to report using condoms consistently (odds ratio, 1.91; 95% CI, 1.24-2.93). Baseline sexual experience and language use moderated intervention efficacy. Adolescents assigned to the HIV intervention who were sexually inexperienced at baseline reported fewer days of unprotected sex (relative risk, 0.22; 95% CI, 0.08-0.63); Spanish speakers were more likely to have used a condom at last intercourse (odds ratio, 4.73; 95% CI, 1.72-12.97) and had a greater proportion of protected sex (mean difference, 0.35; P<.01) compared with similar adolescents in the health-promotion intervention.
Results provide evidence for the efficacy of HIV intervention in decreasing sexual activity and increasing condom use among Latino adolescents.