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Safer Sex

Implementation Setting: 
Health clinic
Intervention Length: 
Fewer than 10 sessions
Age Group: 
Race / Ethnicity: 
Outcomes Affected: 
Number of sexual partners
Study Rating: 

Program Summary

Safer Sex Intervention (SSI) is an individual intervention intended to reduce STIs and improve condom use among female adolescents and young adults at high-risk for contracting an STI. The program is delivered one-on-one through a 30- to 50-minute session with a health educator, with three 10- to 30-minute follow-up sessions over the following six months.

Read the full Implementation Report, which includes:

  • Program Overview
  • Program Components
  • Implementation Requirements and Guidance
  • Implementation Readiness Assessment

Interview with the Program Developer

See the materials below to hear from the program developer.

Safer Sex Intervention (SSI) webinar slides

Slides, Audio, Transcript

Advice from the Field

OAH has compiled lessons learned and advice related to implementation and cost implications of Safer Sex Intervention (SSI) from TPP grantees. The information below is intended to provide useful tips and overall feedback that organizations should consider when choosing and implementing Safer Sex Intervention (SSI).

Program Components

  • Familiarize yourself with your partnering clinic organizations’ policies related to parental permission.
  • Consider providing information for participants on the full range of FDA-approved contraception methods. The Safer Sex Intervention sessions focus only on condoms and abstinence.
  • Modify the Safer Sex Intervention curriculum to fit thetime requirements of school-based clinics. For example, the Safer Sex Intervention consists of one 50-minute session and 3 booster sessions, which may not fit with school-based clinic schedules. You might consider shortening activities if clinics have a shorter amount of time to see participants. Keep in mind modifying the session length is considered a major adaptation and would require approval from the developer/distributor and OAH.
  • Speak with the facility’s coordinator to ensure that you can get a private space with access to clinical staff who can provide assistance if participants disclose information that needs to be reported to law enforcement.
  • Consider using alternative formats (e.g., online video conferencing) to deliver refresher/booster sessions for participants who do not have transportation.

Staffing and Professional Development

  • Consider hiring certified health counselors and individuals with motivational interviewing skills.
  • Provide all new hires with mandatory motivational interviewing training. These trainings can ensure that program staff feel comfortable delivering the Safer Sex Intervention to participants.
  • Consider providing ongoing training on motivational interviewing and additional follow-up training on the curriculum for program staff. This ensures that staff are continuously supported.

Stakeholder and Parent Buy-in

  • Develop relationships and partnerships with school-based clinics and teen clinics. These partnerships can help participants get referrals for other services; clinics can also provide follow-up information for each participant.
  • Emphasize that the Safer Sex Intervention is designed to provide youth confidence in their decision making and connect them with professionals that can link them to needed services. This can help get buy-in from the community and other clinics.


  • Allocate resources for additional refresher/booster trainings for staff implementing the Safer Sex Intervention.
  • Consider purchasing laptops to implement the video portion of the Safer Sex Intervention.
  • Invest in a fidelity tracking system. This system can help track Safer Sex Intervention participants and will advise program facilitators about upcoming booster sessions.

Read the list of potential adaptations that were previously implemented by OAH grantees for Safer Sex Intervention.

Read the research on the Safer Sex Intervention program on ASPE's website.

Content created by the
Office of Adolescent Health
Content last reviewed on
Friday, December 11, 2015