Evaluation of the city of Houston HIV/STD prevention program in Houston Independent School District (HISD) high schools

Givans Kay Ateka, The University of Texas School of Public Health


This cross-sectional study was undertaken to evaluate the impact in terms of HIV/STD knowledge and sexual behavior that the City of Houston HIV/STD prevention program in HISD high schools has had on students who have participated in it by comparing them with their peers who have not, based on self reports. The study further evaluated the program cost-effectiveness for averting future HIV infections by computing Cost-Utility Ratios based on reported sexual behavior. Mixed results were obtained, indicating a statistically significant difference in knowledge with the intervention group having scored higher (p-value 0.001) but not for any of the behaviors assessed. The knowledge score outcome's overall p-value after adjusting for each stratifying variable (age, grade, gender and ethnicity) was statistically significant. The Odds Ratio of intervention group participants aged 15 years or more scoring 70% or higher was 1.86 times; that of intervention group female participants was 2.29 times; and that of intervention group Black/African American participants was 2.47 times relative to their comparison group counterparts. The knowledge score results remained statistically significant in the logistic regression model, which controlled for age, grade level, gender and ethnicity. The Odds Ratio in this case was 1.74. Three scenarios based on the difference in the risk of HIV infection between the intervention and comparison group were used for computation of Cost-Utility Ratios: Base, worst and best-case scenario. The best-case scenario yielded cost-effective results for male participants and cost-saving results for female participants when using ethnicity-adjusted HIV prevalence. The scenario remained cost-effective for female participants when using the unadjusted HIV prevalence. The challenge to the program is to devise approaches that can enhance benefits for male participants. If it is a threshold problem implying that male participants require more intensive programs for behavioral change, then programs should first be piloted among boys before being implemented across the board. If it is a reflection of gender differences, then we might have to go back to the drawing board and engage boys in focus group discussions that will help formulate more effective programs. Gender-blind approaches currently in vogue do not seem to be working.

Subject Area

Economics|Public health

Recommended Citation

Ateka, Givans Kay, "Evaluation of the city of Houston HIV/STD prevention program in Houston Independent School District (HISD) high schools" (2006). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3241393.