The Science Behind the Package
a small group intervention based on the NIMH Multisite HIV
Prevention Trial and has the goals of decreasing unprotected sexual intercourse
condom use. Grounded in behavioral theory, the program targets three primary
factors that mediate sexual risk acts 1) outcome expectancies, 2) skills,
and 3) self-efficacy. The small group format allows group members to gain knowledge
and to enhance and practice risk reduction skills, and the group dynamic
the promotion of new social norms within a safe, supportive environment.
Ethnically diverse men and women, aged 18 or older, who are seeking initial
or follow-up treatment at STD clinics and low-income women seeking treatment
at neighborhood health care clinics.
Nurses or health care educators employed by the clinic facilitate gender
specific groups of 5 to 12 people in a private room within the clinic.
Each of the
seven 90-minute sessions begins with goal review and discussion of success
and barriers, review of the previous session, preview of the current session,
introduction of a skill-building exercise, skill practice and discussion,
session review, and goal setting. Male and female condoms are made available
to participants at all sessions. Session 1 introduces HIV knowledge and
risk personalization. Session 2 identifies personal risk triggers. Session
on problem-solving triggers. Session 4 discusses and demonstrates the use
of male and female condoms. Sessions 5 and 6 develop assertive communication
and negotiation skills. Session 7 reviews the previous session's skills
and develops plans for risk reduction behavior maintenance, and participants
receive a certificate of completion.
The "light" intervention produced the following results among program participants:
- Significant decrease in the reported number of unprotected intercourse acts.
- Significant increase in reported condom use over time.
For Details on the Research Design
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Multisite HIV Prevention Trial
Group (1998). The NIMH Multisite HIV Prevention Trial: Reducing HIV Sexual
Risk Behavior. Science, 280, 1889-1894.
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A Package Developed from Science
Replicating Effective Programs (REP) is a CDC-initiated project that identifies
HIV/AIDS prevention interventions with demonstrated evidence of effectiveness.
REP supports the original researchers in developing a user-friendly package of
materials designed for prevention providers. "light" is one of the REP interventions
and is the product of extensive collaboration among researchers and a Community
Advisory Board. The package has been field tested in STD clinics by non-research
Core elements are intervention components that must be maintained without
alteration to ensure program effectiveness. The core elements of "light" include:
- Reinforcement - supporting
and learning from the facilitators and other group members, realizing that
they are not alone in dealing with the issues of
sex in their lives.
- Modeling - learning
information through modeling by facilitators, videotapes, and each other
in a safe, supportive environment.
- Goal Setting - setting
specific, risk-related, behavior-change goals and gaining
confidence by meeting them.
- Role Playing - practicing
the skills acquired during each session, using realistic
scenarios and partner responses.
- Problem-solving - applying
specific techniques to situations in participants's own lives.
- Operations manual
providing detailed guidance for planning, conducting, and sustaining the
- Four videos: Promotional
overview, Client recruitment, Modeling vignettes, and Facilitator training.
- Anatomical models and
sample materials and handouts.
Staff from user organizations attend a 2-day pre-adoption training workshop.
The workshop includes an orientation to "light" and
provides intensive training on how to conduct of the intervention. The
workshop also allows provision
of technical assistance and allows trainer and staff interaction on
common issues related to implementing "light."
To be determined
Timeline for Availability
The "light" intervention
been completed but is not yet available.
For More Information
on the "light" Project
Charles Collins, CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Phone: 404-639-0966. E-mail:
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