Effective Interventions

Effective Interventions

High Impact Prevention

Salud, Educación, Prevención, y Autocuidado (SEPA) is a six-session, culturally-tailored, small-group, skills building intervention designed to prevent high-risk sexual behaviors among low-income Latinas.

sepa logoThe intervention, delivered to groups of 11-13 women, promotes self-efficacy, builds skills and focuses on topics including: HIV/AIDS in the community, human anatomy and sexuality, education about HIV and other STDs, condom use, negotiation of safer sex, and preventing domestic violence. The intervention content and prevention messages are delivered using several methods, including: group discussions, videos, hands-on activities, role playing, skills demonstration, quizzes, and homework to build self-efficacy.

Target Population: SEPA was developed for Hispanic women/Latinas between the ages of 18 and 44 who are at risk for HIV and STD infection because of unprotected sex. Although the intervention's efficacy trial included Mexican and Puerto Rican women, researchers believe SEPA can be of benefit to at-risk women of diverse races and ethnicity if their prevention needs can be addressed by SEPA's activities. 

SEPA Implementation Materials 

SEPA implementation materials including the Facilitator's Guide, Training of Facilitators Curriculum, Implementation Manual, Starter Kit and Promotional Materials are available for download on Effectiveinterventions.org. You may also view and download the Mi Hermano video. 

Should you have questions about SEPA, you may contact:
Dr. JoAna M. Stallworth, Behavioral Scientist, Science Application Team, Capacity Building Branch, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Email: doy4@cdc.gov.   

Research and Development

Peragallo, N., DeForge, D., O'Campo, P., Lee, S. M., Kim, Y. J., Cianelli, R., et al. (2005). A randomized clinical trial of an HIV-risk-reduction intervention among low-income Latina women. Nursing Research, 54, 108-118.

Peragallo, N., DeForge, D., Khoury, Z., Rivero, R., & Talashek, M. (2002). Latinas' perspectives on HIV/AIDS: Cultural issues to consider in prevention. Hispanic Health Care International, 1, 11-22.

Program Review Panel Information

The CDC requires all CDC-funded agencies using the SEPA intervention to identify, or establish, and utilize a Program Review Panel and complete Form 0.1113 to document this activity. The intervention researchers and developers are not involved in this activity. This is a CDC requirement for their grantees, and all questions in this regard should be directed to your agency's CDC Project Officer or to the health department funding your agency's implementation of the intervention.

The Program Review Panel guidelines, instructions for completion of Form 0.113, and the form itself are available under the Related Links section of this website.

More Info

SEPA Core Elements

  • Provide culturally and linguistically appropriate information to sexually active women at risk of acquiring HIV from unprotected sex with male partners in interactive, small-group sessions that focus on:
    • HIV and STD transmission and prevention;
    • human sexuality and male and female anatomy;
    • interpersonal communications; and 
    • relationship violence. 
  • Incorporate skill-building activities into sessions to enhance women's self-efficacy for safer sex behaviors, including demonstrations and practice exercises on male and female condom use and role-plays on assertive communication with sex partners, including condom negotiation. 
  • Build self-efficacy and knowledge for safer sex behaviors, improved communication with partners, and violence management through homework exercises and the sharing of personal experiences.
  • Show a culturally appropriate video during the first session that portrays the effects of HIV and AIDS on members of the target population and discuss what is communicated about the impact of HIV and AIDS on the community, including impacts on families and women. 
  • Use a female facilitator who speaks and understands the language of participants. The facilitator should not be a peer of participants but someone who is an experienced professional in health education, disease prevention, and risk reduction. 
  • Ask participants to write thank-you notes to fellow participants and pledge their commitment to community health during the final session. Present a certificate to each participant who attends at least half of the sessions. 
  • Conduct no more than two sessions each week.

The materials on this site are designed for HIV/AIDS prevention with persons at risk for acquiring or transmitting HIV. They are meant to be resources used by HIV prevention providers such as health departments and community-based organizations so as to provide the best evidence-based HIV prevention services. These materials are not meant for the general public. They are not meant for children. They are not school-based HIV prevention strategies.