Purpose: To test the long-term effects of a mass media intervention that used culturally and developmentally appropriate messages to enhance human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-preventive beliefs and behavior of high-risk African American adolescents. Methods: Television and radio messages were delivered for more than 3 years in two cities (Syracuse, NY; and Macon, GA) that were randomly selected within each of the two regionally matched city pairs, with the other cities (Providence, RI; and Columbia, SC) serving as controls. African American adolescents, aged 1417 years (N = 1,710), recruited in the four cities over a 16-month period, completed audio computer-assisted self-interviews at recruitment and again at 3, 6, 12, and 18-months postrecruitment to assess the long-term effects of the media program. To identify the unique effects of the media intervention, youth who completed at least one follow-up and who did not test positive for any of the three sexually transmitted infections at recruitment or at 6-and 12-month follow-up were retained for analysis (N = 1,346). Results: The media intervention reached virtually all the adolescents in the trial and produced a range of effects including improved normative condom-use negotiation expectancies and increased sex refusal self-efficacy. Most importantly, older adolescents (aged 1617 years) exposed to the media program showed a less risky age trajectory of unprotected sex than those in the nonmedia cities. Conclusion: Culturally tailored mass media messages that are delivered consistently over time have the potential to reach a large audience of high-risk adolescents, to support changes in HIV-preventive beliefs, and to reduce HIV-associated risk behaviors among older youth.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The data stem from a cooperative agreement funded by the US National Institute of Mental Health, Office on AIDS, Pim Brouwers, Project Officer. The following sites and investigators contributed to the project: Columbia, SC (MH66802), Robert Valois (PI), Naomi Farber, and Andure Walker; Macon, GA (MH66807), Ralph DiClemente (PI), Laura Salazar, Rachel Joseph, and Angela Caliendo; Philadelphia, PA (MH66809), Daniel Romer (PI), Sharon Sznitman, Bonita Stanton, Michael Hennessy, Ivan Juzang, and Thierry Fortune; Providence, RI (MH66875), Larry Brown (PI), Christie Rizzo, and Rebecca Swenson; Syracuse, NY (MH66794), Peter Vanable (PI), Michael Carey, Rebecca Bostwick, and Jennifer Brown.
- African American adolescents
- Condom use
- Culturally sensitive messages
- Mass media interventions
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health