The Impact of a Culturally Appropriate STD/AIDS Education Intervention on Black Male Adolescents’ Sexual and Condom Use Behavior

DeLamater, John, David Wagstaff, and Kayt Klein Havens
Working paper no. 1998-03


A culturally appropriate, theoretically-based videotape was developed in collaboration with local African American producers to promote condom use among 15- to 19-year-old black males seeking treatment at a municipal STD clinic. The videotape’s immediate, short- (30 day), and long-term (6 month) impacts were compared to those achieved by (1) a trained, African American health educator who delivered the same messages during a face-to-face session and (2) standard care. Participants (N=562) were randomly assigned. Their self-reports were used to assess the impact on condom use knowledge, self-efficacy, and intentions; sexual and condom use behavior; and perceived risk of an STD infection. At posttest, participants in the two treatment conditions demonstrated greater condom use knowledge; participants in the health educator condition indicated greater condom use self-efficacy and stronger condom use intentions with steady partners. At 6 months, participants in all conditions reported an increase in the number of sexual partners and number of acts of vaginal intercourse (past month); however, they were twice as likely to report consistent condom use with steady partners (18% vs 53%) and with casual partners (26% vs 50%). Perceived risk of an STD infection was unexpectedly lower at the posttest and continued to decline during the study period. Possible reasons for the pattern of findings are discussed and recommendations for future research are offered.