Journal of Adolescent Health Vol. 49; No. 3: P. 244-
The current study sought "to test the long-term effects of a
mass media intervention that used culturally and
developmentally appropriate messages to enhance [HIV]-
preventive beliefs and behavior of high-risk African-American
Radio and TV messages were delivered for more than three years
in Syracuse, N.Y., and Macon, Ga., which were randomly
selected within each of two regionally matched city pairs.
Columbia, S.C., and Providence, R.I., served as controls.
A total of 1,710 African-American adolescents ages 14-17 were
recruited in the four cities over a 16-month timeframe.
Participants completed audio computer-assisted self-interviews
at recruitment and again at three, six, 12 and 18 months to
assess the long-term effects of the media program. To identify
the intervention's unique effects, youth who completed at
least one follow-up and who did not test positive for any of
the three STDs at recruitment or at six- or 12-month follow-up
were retained for analysis (N=1,346).
Nearly all the adolescents in the trial were reached by the
media intervention, producing a range of effects including
improved normative condom-use negotiation expectancies and
increased sex refusal self-efficacy. "Most importantly, older
adolescents (ages 16-17 years) exposed to the media program
showed a less risky age trajectory of unprotected sex than
those in the nonmedia cities," the study results found.
"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," the researchers concluded.