Overview of the Curriculum
¡Cuídate! (Take Care of Yourself) is a small-group, culturally based intervention to reduce HIV sexual risk among Latino youth. The program, recommended for use with grades 8-11, emphasizes risk reduction strategies such as sexual abstinence and condom use. The intervention curriculum is available in English and Spanish and is an adaptation of the Be Proud! Be Responsible! curriculum. The goal is for Latino youth to increase skills and self efficacy in negotiating abstinence and condom use.
The ¡Cuídate! program has three primary goals. They are to:
- Influence attitudes, behavioral and normative beliefs, and self-efficacy regarding HIV risk-reduction behaviors, specifically abstinence and condom use, by incorporating the theme of ¡Cuídate!—taking care of oneself, one's partner, family, and community.
- Highlight cultural values that support safer sex, and reframe cultural values that are perceived as barriers to safer sex.
- Emphasize how cultural values influence attitudes and beliefs in ways that affect HIV risk-associated sexual behavior.
The intervention consists of six 60-minute modules delivered to small, mixed-gender groups. Through the use of role plays, videos, music, interactive games and hands-on practice, ¡Cuídate! addresses the building of HIV knowledge, understanding vulnerability to HIV infection, identifying attitudes and beliefs about HIV and safe sex, and increasing self-efficacy and skills for correct condom use, negotiating abstinence, and negotiating safer sex practices.
- Materials Needed
- Time Required
- Rationale for each Activity
- Procedures and Detailed Facilitator Notes
- Small-Group Activities
- Curriculum Materials
Unique Features of the Curriculum
¡Cuídate! incorporates salient aspects of Latino culture, including familialism (i.e., the importance of family) and gender-role expectations (i.e., machismo, which is described as the man's responsibility in caring for and protecting one's partner and family). These cultural beliefs are used to frame abstinence and condom use as culturally accepted and effective ways to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.
¡Cuídate! is based on:
- Social Cognitive Theory which states that individual learning is influenced by personal factors, behavior, and environmental influences.
- Theory of Reasoned Action and the Theory of Planned Behavior which are focused on individual motivation. Factors that determine if a person is likely to engage in a specific health behavior are also included. According to these theories, what a person intends to do is a good predictor of what they will actually do.
Ordering and Training Information
Customer Service, 800-321-4407
Training is recommended. A training of facilitators is available from ETR (www.etr.org/ebi/programs/cuidate).
Evaluation Fact Sheet
¡Cuídate! emphasizes Latino cultural beliefs to frame abstinence and condom use as culturally accepted and effective ways to prevent unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. ¡Cuídate! is designed for adolescents 13 to 18 years of age and includes six 1-hour modules delivered over two or more days, small mixed gender groups of 6 to 10 adolescents, use of culturally relevant role-plays, music, video, games, and hands-on practice to allow participants to practice skills they have learned. Sessions are conducted in either English or Spanish.
Research Design and Findings
The ¡Cuídate! program was tested in a study that took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with 553 mostly Puerto Rican Latino youth (249 boys and 304 girls) aged 13 to 18 years. The study was repeated with 829 youth in Monterrey, Mexico (371 boys and 459 girls).
Teens were randomly assigned to participate in either the ¡Cuídate! program or a health-promotion control program that focused on other health issues that affect Latinos. ¡Cuídate! was presented in both English and Spanish in Philadelphia and in Spanish only in Mexico. The program was delivered in two sessions at one week intervals in both the U.S. and Mexico.
Findings showed that the intervention students had significantly fewer lifetime sexual partners, were more likely to report increased condom use over time, and had a markedly greater functional knowledge of HIV and AIDS than students in comparison groups.
Villarruel, A. M., Jemmott, J. B. III, & Jemmott, L. S. (2006). A randomized controlled trial testing an HIV prevention intervention for Latino youth. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 160(8), 772–77.
Gallegos, E. C., Villarruel, A. M., Loveland-Cherry, C., Ronis, D. L., & Zhou, Y. (2008). Intervention to reduce sexual risk behavior in adolescents. Results of a ramdomized control trial. Salud Publica de Mexico, 50(1), 59-66.