Project Youth is implementing ¡Cuídate! as a teen pregnancy prevention risk reduction program for Latino youth, aged 12-18, who attend middle or high schools in Santa Ana or are in foster care. This culturally-based program focuses on “taking care of oneself and one’s partner, family, and community.” This is accomplished by working with youth to develop the requisite knowledge, attitude, and skills to reduce their risk of HIV infection. ¡Cuídate! also addresses several significant adult preparation issues, including adolescent development, healthy relationships, education, and career success, healthy life skills, and financial literacy.
¡Cuídate! consists of six 1-hour modules delivered over a minimum of 2 days to groups of 6 to 10 youth. ¡Cuídate! is delivered by health educators and therapists. HIV/AIDS knowledge, condom negotiation, refusal of sex, and correct condom use skills are taught through interactive games, group discussion, role-plays, video, music, and mini-lectures.
- Incorporating the theme of ¡Cuídate!—taking care of oneself and one’s partner, family and community— throughout the program.
- Using culturally- and linguistically-appropriate materials and activities to show and emphasize core Latino cultural values, specifically familialism and gender-roles, and how those are consistent with safer sex behavior.
- Incorporating activities that increase knowledge and influence positive attitudes, beliefs, and self-efficacy regarding HIV sexual risk-reduction behaviors.
- Modeling and practicing the effective use of condoms.
- Building participants’ skills in problem solving, negotiation of safe sex, and refusal of unsafe sex.
- Delivering sessions in highly participatory, interactive small groups.