MOAPPP Monitor
Spring 2000

Articles in this issue of the MOAPPP Monitor:

May is Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month

New Study Measures HIV Awareness Among Hmong Youth

Step Up To The Challenge

News & Notes

May is Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month

In Minnesota and throughout the nation, May is Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month (TPPM).

Designed to bring attention to the issue of teen pregnancy, TPPM emphasizes strong partnerships between the community and families in helping young people develop responsible and healthy attitudes about sexuality.

For TPPM 2000, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy has established the theme, Teen Voices. Keying off this theme, MOAPPP has developed TPPM products and activities to give teens a voice in all aspects of pregnancy prevention.

On April 27, at the kick-off celebration for MDH’s African American Teen Pregnancy Prevention Collaborative, MOAPPP’s Teen Advisory Panel will be unveiling their TPPM 2000 poster, which they have been working on since January.

Then, throughout May, the Teen Advisory Panel youth will be promoting the TPPM on radio, television and in public appearances.

Additionally, MOAPPP’s 9th Annual Conference will be May 1-2 and the 7th Annual Awards will be presented May 2.

MOAPPP will also be working with the St. Paul Advisory Council to coordinate a youth talent show, which will be scheduled for the end of May.

To help you prepare for TPPM, MOAPPP has developed products and resources, including:

TPPM 2000 youth-oriented poster
camera-ready TPPM logos,
fill-in-the-blank press releases,
bulletin inserts for faith organizations,
TPPM flyers,
fact sheets, and
technical assistance and support for local projects events.

What you can do

Every member of your community has a role to play in helping teenagers make healthy decisions. Here’s some ways you can mark Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month in your area:

Hang the TPPM poster in places where teens congregate in your community. To order 5 or fewer additional posters free of charge, call the MOAPPP offices.
Ask your mayor to proclaim May as Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month (for a sample proclamation, check the MOAPPP website, (www.moappp.org).
Hold a community forum on teen pregnancy and teen pregnancy prevention.
Ask area churches and faith organizations to include inserts in their newsletter or bulletin on Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month.
Make contacts with local reporters or write an editorial highlighting effective programs in your community.
Invite area elected officials to visit teen programs or to meet with local teens.
Conduct a needs assessment for your community. MOAPPP’s new Teen Pregnancy Puzzle Organizing Manual, Get Started, can help with this. The manual will be available May 1. Call MOAPPP to reserve a copy.
Offer workshops for parents and teens on sexuality, communication and adolescent development.
Start a local teen pregnancy prevention coalition. MOAPPP’s Teen Pregnancy Puzzle Organizing Manual can help with this, too.
Work with the PTA/PTO to develop a teen pregnancy prevention plan for your schools.
Distribute state and county specific fact sheets. Current fact sheets are available online, www.moappp.org, or call MOAPPP for copies.

Get involved in TPPM.

New Study Measures HIV/STD Knowledge, Attitudes and Risk Behaviors
Among Hmong-American Teens in St. Paul

A new study in the Journal of Sex Education and Therapy examines self-reported HIV/STD knowledge, attitudes and risk behaviors among Hmong-American adolescents.

For this study, researchers surveyed 299 Hmong-American students, ages 12-21, who took part in a culturally specific HIV/STD prevention program offered by public junior and senior high schools in St. Paul, MN, during the 1993-94 and 1994-95 school years. Approximately 20% of the Hmong-American students in these schools chose to participate in these programs.

Here’s the results:

Knowledge of HIV

Participants completed a questionnaire that included 13 true/false statements about HIV/AIDS.

87% of participants responded correctly when asked if "people can get a STD by having sex."
80% of participants responded correctly when asked if "you can get AIDS if you use the same toilet seat or phone as someone who has AIDS."
48% of participants responded correctly when asked if "one way to prevent the spread of HIV is to have sex with only one partner."
71% of participants responded correctly when asked if "Hmong people don’t have to practice safer sex because it is very difficult for them to get HIV."
50% of participants responded correctly when asked if "you eat a lot of hot peppers, you will not get AIDS."
30% of participants responded correctly when asked if "in Laos, there is a tree that can keep you from catching the AIDS virus if you make tea from the leaves and drink the tea."

Attitudes Toward HIV/STD

Participants were also asked to complete a questionnaire that included 10 attitude items that were scored on a scale ranging from "strongly disagree" to "strongly agree." For each attitude item, researchers defined the desired response as that which was "most in line with HIV/STD prevention goals."

87% of participants expressed the desired attitude in response to the statement, "it is smart to use a condom when having sex."
67% of participants expressed the desired attitude in response to the statement, "it is okay for teenagers to refuse to have sex."
62% of participants expressed the desired attitude in response to the statement, "it’s okay for teenagers to have sex without a condom if they both say they’re virgins."
47% of participants expressed the desired attitude in response to the statement, "condoms are quite disgusting and I wouldn’t want to touch one."
54% of participants expressed the desired attitude in response to the statement, "I don’t want to get tested for HIV because the Hmong community would find out."
44% of participants expressed the desired attitude in response to the statement, "Hmong people whose ancestors were bad are in great danger of getting AIDS."

AIDS Risk Behaviors

7% of participants reported having engaged in sexual intercourse. Of these, 63% reported always using a condom and 75% reported having had only one sexual partner.
77% of participants reported knowing how to use a condom.

The findings suggest that Hmong-American students have relatively high overall knowledge and desirable attitudes about HIV/AIDS. In addition, they have lower levels of sexual risk behaviors than other Asian groups.

The authors note, however, that Hmong-American adolescents were significantly less likely to answer the culturally specific knowledge and attitudes items correctly. They suggest that this could indicate that while the adolescents can learn new information, it does not necessarily replace older, culturally imbued beliefs.

The authors recommend that HIV/STD prevention programs working with refugee and immigrant communities should first investigate the culturally specific knowledge and attitudes about HIV/STD among each ethnic group, and then develop distinct, culturally specific materials for more – and less – acculturated individuals within these communities. Such measures would ensure that prevention materials contain information that is not only accurate, but also explores cultural beliefs and their implications on personal and community health.

Reprinted from SHOP TALK, vol. 4, no. 23, Bridge for Adolescent Prevention (BAPPS).

Source: B.E. Robinson, et al, "HIV/STD Knowledge, Attitudes and Risk Behaviors in Hmong-American Adolescents: An Unstudied Population," Journal of Sex Education and Therapy, vol. 24, nos. 1&2, pp. 37-46.

Step Up To the Challenge

MOAPPP’s 9th Annual MOAPPP Conference is just around the bend and here’s what we are looking forward to: three renowned health professionals, thirty-nine exciting workshops, one exciting awards ceremony, and two full days of educational fun.

On Monday, May 1, MOAPPP welcomes James Wagoner. Mr. Wagoner is the president of Advocates for Youth, a national organization dedicated to creating programs and promoting policies that help young people make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.

The keynote speakers on Tuesday, May 2, 2000 are Lurline Baker-Kent and Laurie Schwab Zabin. Ms. Baker-Kent has been recognized for her training modules on cultural diversity, leadership development for women, and the programming needs of female offenders.

Ms. Zabin is a professor in the Department of Population and Family Health Sciences at Johns Hopkins University and also serves as director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health.

Throughout the event, workshops will expand participants understanding of adolescent pregnancy prevention and parenting and develop participants’ skills in program implementation, coalition building and policy advocacy.

Some examples of workshops offered are:

IMPROV Teen Improvisational Theatre: A Catalyst for Discussion,
The 411 on Community Organizing,
Fishing for Fathers: How to find, involve, and keep adolescent fathers in programs, and
Human Papillomavirus (HPV): Dilemmas and Opportunities for STI Education.

Also during the conference, the 7th Annual MOAPPP Awards will recognize service providers, policymakers, agencies, members, and adolescents for their achievements in adolescent pregnancy prevention, pregnancy care and/or adolescent parenting. Join us during lunch on day two of the conference to support these outstanding people for their contributions to the field.

The 9th Annual Conference, "Stepping Up to the Challenge," expects the greatest turnout, the most fascinating speakers, and the most useful workshops ever.

Join us.

News & Notes

Get Started: MOAPPP’s New Organizing Guide Now Available
MOAPPP is proud to announce that our new community organizing guide, Get Started, is now available. Tailored specifically to meet the needs of communities throughout Minnesota, Get Started includes details about:

How to conduct a needs assessment
How to find funding
How to choose the right program and strategy to ensure success
How to evaluate your progress.

And the best news is that Get Started costs only $20. For ordering details, call or write MOAPPP today.

Havin’ Fun, Feelin’ Great, Next Thing You Know…
That’s the slogan on our Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month poster. Designed by teens for teens, this eye-catching poster encourages youth to consider the consequences of early pregnancy. Throughout May, the teens who created the poster will be using it to promote and illustrate the need for comprehensive teen pregnancy prevention programs in Minnesota. The poster was sponsored by MOAPPP, the MN Family Planning and STD Hotline and the MN Department of Health. Printing was donated by ReliaStar, photography by Brian Scott Holman and design by e.m. smith design. You can obtain 1 to 5 copies of this poster free of charge, so hang a few where teens congregate in your community. Didn’t get a poster or need more copies? Call or send us an e-mail and we’ll drop one in the mail to you today.

African American Collaborative Kick Off Planned
The MN Department of Health’s African American Teen Pregnancy Prevention Collaborative is kicking-off its comprehensive education and awareness program with a high profile public and media event on April 27th – just in time for Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. The Collaborative was formed by MDH to begin to address the high rates of teen pregnancy in Minnesota’s African American community. Among the organizations participating in this important effort are the YWCA of Minneapolis, HealthStart, St. Paul Urban League, Minneapolis Call To Action-Pilot City and MOAPPP. For more information about the Collaborative or the April 27 kick-off, call Rosemarie Rodriguez Hager at the MN Dept. of Health, 651-215-5802.

Growing Absolutely Fantastic Youth
The MN Department of Children, Families and Learning, the MN Department of Public Safety and the Konopka Institute recently published a guide of evidence-based practices and promising strategies on adolescent programs, practices and policies titled, Growing Absolutely Fantastic Youth. This comprehensive guide addresses alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, violent and delinquent behavior, suicide, risky sexual behavior, eating disorders and physical activity; and features Minnesota programs that integrate effective principles and prevention and intervention strategies. To order, fax your name, title, organization, address and phone number to 612-626-2134.

Dads Make a Difference Hits It Big!
In November, Dads Make a Difference’s (DMAD) fall Metro Teen Training attracted 136 teens and 31 adults from 19 schools and agencies – the largest group to attend one of these events yet. At this event, DMAD also unveiled their new revised version of the Dads Make a Difference curriculum. We are fortunate in Minnesota to have such a great paternity education program. Congratulations to Jan Hayne, Gary Greenfield and all the staff at DMAD that work so hard to make this program successful!