Characteristics of Effective AIDS Education Curricula
- A narrow focus on risk-taking behaviors that may lead to HIV infection and unwanted pregnancy.
- A theoretical understanding of how behaviors can be changed to make effective, healthy decisions.
- At least 14 hours of instruction and/or the use of small-group exercises to increase the efficiency of the time spent.
- Use of a variety of teaching methods to help students personalize information, such as role-playing, visiting drugstores to gather information about contraceptives, or interviewing parents about sex.
- Basic, accurate information about the risks of unprotected sex and the methods of avoiding intercourse.
- Activities that address social pressures on sexual behaviors, such as peer pressure or media influences.
- Reinforcement of clear and appropriate values to strengthen cultural attitudes against unprotected sex.
- Activities that help students practice communication, negotiation, and refusal skills.
- Training for teachers to implement the program.
More information is available in "A Review of Educational Programs Designed to Reduce Sexual Risk-Taking Behaviors Among School-Aged Youth in the United States,'' by Douglas B. Kirby, director of research at ETR Associates. Copies are $10 each from ETR Associates, Research Department, P.O. Box 1830, Santa Cruz, Calif. 95061-1830; (408) 438-4060.