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Core Elements

Core Elements are the critical features of an intervention's intent and design and are thought to be responsible for its effectiveness. Consequently, core elements should be maintained without alteration to ensure program effectiveness.

FOF 1

FOF Core Elements

1. A trained Peer Health Advisor teaches correct condom use skills for clients.

The Peer Health Advisor will foster positive attitudes and norms towards correct and consistent condom use by providing adequate opportunity for clients to practice proper application of condoms during the session. This will improve the clients' condom use behaviors and self-efficacy.

2. The Peer Health Advisor and clients discuss condom negotiation skills.

The Peer Health Advisor addresses issues with using condoms in the clients' lives and discusses condom negotiation strategies that they can use with partners. Being able to negotiate condom use with his partners impacts the clients' condom use behaviors.

3. The Peer Health Advisor provides clients with 25+ packets of water-based lubricants and 25+ condoms of their choice from a broad selection of high-end and popular brands.

After determining which condoms might have the right fit and feel for the clients, the clients select 25+ condoms and 25+ packets of lubricant from a large variety of high-end and popular brands. Clients are also provided with a bag to carry their condoms and packets of lubricant. Having condoms with the right fit and feel, packets of lubricant, and a trendy bag with which to carry them motivates men to use condoms, thereby increasing their condom use behaviors.

4. The Peer Health Advisor clearly communicates the importance of the client protecting his and his community's futures by using condoms correctly and consistently with his partner(s).

The Peer Health Advisor equates condom use with an investment in the clients' futures, lowering their chances of contracting or transmitting future STDs and slowing the spread of HIV/AIDS in their communities.

5. The Peer Health Advisor establishes rapport and a trusting relationship with the client at the beginning of the session.

The relationship with the Peer Health Advisor motivates clients to fully engage in the forthcoming teaching/learning session and establishes an effective means of relating prevention messages to them.

6. The Peer Health Advisor shows unconditional respect for men and maintains a non-judgmental environment for the client concerning any risk behaviors disclosed.

The Peer Health Advisor maintains a "sex-positive" attitude, which is a healthy, non-judgmental attitude towards the client's sexuality and lifestyle choices. By remaining non-judgmental, the client is motivated to fully engage in the session and feel comfortable disclosing information about his risk behaviors. In turn, the Peer Health Advisor can provide information about condom use issues that is customized to the client with positive reinforcement.

7. The intervention is delivered at a point when the client is feeling vulnerable and is highly concerned about his STD infection status. This may be while he is in the clinic waiting, after a presumptive diagnosis, or after a confirmed lab result.

The time when a client believes that he may be infected with an STD or after he receives a positive diagnosis is a critical period in which to address prevention with clients. It is a moment of great motivation for clients to improve their safe sex practices. Thus, the intervention should be delivered at a location that can test and diagnosis clients with STDs.

8. The Peer Health Advisor conducts a customized one-to-one counseling session with the client for 45-60 minutes.

The interactive nature of the program allows the Peer Health Advisor to proceed at a pace and level that is developmentally appropriate for each client. Depending on the needs of the client, the duration of the intervention is a minimum of 45 minutes. Depending on the client, up to 60 minutes may be required to ensure that the appropriate information is covered during the session.

Core Elements are defined as "elements that embody the theory and internal logic of the intervention and most likely produce interventions' main effects."[1] Core elements are critical features of an intervention's intent and design and are thought to be responsible for its effectiveness. Consequently, core elements should be maintained without alteration to ensure program effectiveness.[2]

[1] Glossary. AIDS Education and Prevention, 12, Supplement A, 145-146, 2000.
[2] Glossary. AIDS Education and Prevention, 12, Supplement A, 145-146, 2000.

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