Objective: To examine the effectiveness of a safer sex program (Cuídate) on sexual behavior, use of condoms, and use of other contraceptives among Mexican youth 48 months after the intervention.
Methods: A total of 708 or 85% of those who participated in the original randomized control study (n = 829) were assessed in the 48-month follow-up. Each participant completed a questionnaire on sexual behavior.
Results: Findings indicated that adolescents who participated in the Cuídate program were more likely to be older at first sex (odds ratio [OR], 1.27; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.41-2.12; P < 0.05) and to use condoms at first sex (OR, 1.75; 95% CI, 1.14-2.69; P < 0.05) or some other type of contraception at first sex (OR, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.00-2.33; P < 0.05) than those in the control group. Effects of the intervention on consistent condom use, condom use at last sex, and number of sexual partners were not significant. Gender did not moderate any intervention effects. Social desirability moderated the effect of the intervention on age at first sex.
Conclusions: Results demonstrate the efficacy of Cuídate among Mexican adolescents. Future research, policy, and practice efforts should be directed at sustaining safe sex practices across adolescents' developmental and relationship trajectory.