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Promoting Health Among Teens! Abstinence-Only Intervention

Program Components

Program Objectives

PHAT-AO seeks to reduce HIV/STD infection and pregnancy risk behaviors among adolescents by teaching participants correct information about puberty, HIV/STDs, and abstinence-only strategies. Participants are taught that abstinence is a positive choice and is the best strategy to avoid pregnancy and HIV/STDs. The program aims to help participants build negotiation, refusal, and problem solving skills for practicing abstinence.


Program Content

PHAT-AO is based on Social-Cognitive Theory, the Theory of Reasoned Action, and the Theory of Planned Behavior. The program's core components consist of eight modules that cover general information about puberty, sex, the consequences of sex, abstinence, the benefits of abstinence, as well as specific negotiation and refusal skill-building strategies to practice abstinence.

  • Module 1: “Getting to Know You and Steps to Making Your Dreams and Goals Come True” provides an introduction to the curriculum, sets up the theme of proud and responsible behavior, and asks participants to identify short-term and long-term goals and dreams.
  • Module 2: “Puberty and Adolescent Sexuality” provides an overview of reproductive anatomy, discusses messages about sex, discusses how people express themselves sexually, and the benefits of abstinence.
  • Module 3: “Making Abstinence Work for Me” includes activities that explore attitudes toward abstinence and problem solving skills to address partner pressure.
  • Module 4: “The Consequences of Sex: HIV/AIDS” consists of information on HIV etiology, transmission and prevention. At the end of this session, participants are given a homework assignment where they are to discuss the first four modules with a trusted adult.
  • Module 5: “The Consequences of Sex: STD Infection” consists of a review of the homework assignment followed by activities that teach information about STD etiology, types, transmission and prevention.
  • Module 6: “The Consequences of Sex: Pregnancy” consists of activities that teach knowledge about pregnancy and prevention, as well as how to respond to peer pressure.
  • Module 7: “Improving Sexual Choices & Negotiation” consists of interactive activities that address participants’ problem-solving and negotiation skills.
  • Module 8: “Role Plays: Refusal and Negotiation Skills” has activities for participants to further practice refusal and address partner and peer pressure.


Program Methods

The program is delivered through group discussion, brainstorming, role play, videos/DVDs, modeling, practice, and homework.