The overall purpose of this research project is to develop interventions which are effective in reducing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (including HIV) and unwanted pregnancies by changing sexual- and reproductive behaviours among adolescents in selected sites in Sub-Saharan Africa. We will apply an integrated community prevention approach with schools as an important gateway. This necessitates the development of new, innovative intervention methods.
The main aim of the PREPARE project is to develop new and innovative programmes for the promotion of healthy sexual practices among adolescents in their early adolescence (in school grades corresponding to the age groups 12-14 years) using schools as a gateway to delivery.
The project has six specific objectives:
- To carry out formative studies among adolescents in all four African sites in order to develop specific intervention components;
- To examine content and design of materials used in previous interventions in light of new research evidence and relevant theory in order to identify and improve sub-optimal elements and aspects;
- Based on the outcomes of 1 and 2, to design and implement new, comprehensive ‘best practice’ programmes for promotion of healthy sexual behaviour among adolescents to be tested in two sites (Cape Town and Dar es Salaam), using schools as the gateway for delivery;
- Design and implement more focused interventions to be administered in two sites, one on parent-child communication and parental support for healthy sexual behaviour (Makerere) and the other one on culture-specific norms, attitudes and beliefs (Limpopo);
- To revise existing scales and instruments for data collection and develop new ones in order to meet the evaluation needs of the new best practice intervention programmes and the focused efficacy studies.
- To evaluate the intervention programmes through a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches.