Preventing HIV transmission: The perspective of inner-city Puerto Rican adolescents

Jesus I. Ramirez, Dana R. Gossett, Kenneth R. Ginsburg*, S. Lynne Taylor, Gail B. Slap

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: To examine the development of HIV prevention strategies that address the concerns and needs of urban Puerto Rican adolescents. Methods: The study included 542 Puerto-Rican adolescents, divided into age sets of 12 to 14 years and 15 to 19 years. Participants were recruited from community work programs, recreation centers, schools, drug rehabilitation programs, and directly from neighborhood streets in North Philadelphia. A hierarchical series of peer-facilitated group techniques and interviews allowed adolescents to generate, prioritize and explain strategies. The study question was developed in focus groups. Ideas were generated and prioritized in Nominal Technique Groups. The ideas with the highest priority were used to develop a survey that allowed participants to rank those they believed would be most effective. Participants then clarified the top-ranked ideas in open focus groups. Results: In both age sets, the strategy perceived as the most effective in preventing HIV-risk behaviors was 'Have people who are HIV-infected talk to teens.' Similar ideas addressing this theme varied in perceived effectiveness. The second and third rated ideas among participants aged 12 to 14 years were 'Teach teens how HIV infects them, ' and 'Show teens how people die from AIDS.' The second and third rated ideas among participants aged 15 to 19 years were 'Show teens what AIDS does to people ' and 'Have parents be more supportive of teens, so if they are having sex, they can encourage them to use condoms.' Other top-ranked ideas included the development of community programs, increased efficacy and availability of condoms, and assessing partners for the risk of HIV infection. Three items revealed significant gender differences. Males were more likely to rate 'Give out more free condoms' and 'Educate teens in schools about AIDS.' Females aged 15 to 19 years were more likely to rate 'Teens should know their partner's background before having sex.' Conclusions: To develop effective prevention strategies for youth, their views of the problems and interpretations of proposed solutions must be understood. Copyright (C) 2000 Society for Adolescent Medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)258-267
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2000


  • Adolescent
  • Focus groups
  • Gender differences
  • HIV prevention
  • Nominal Group Technique
  • Puerto Rican

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Preventing HIV transmission: The perspective of inner-city Puerto Rican adolescents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this