Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) continues to be a significant concern for adolescents, especially in minority populations. There is a scarcity of knowledge of the cultural context of sexual behavior in this age group and the influences that lead to early initiation of sex and unsafe sex. Few efforts targeting young adolescents have been community based, although there has been an increased awareness of the need for such research and intervention programs. Four key processes have been defined in gaining community participation in health education programs: (a) defining the community and reaching the community; (b) recognizing tensions among service, research, and community participation; (c) involving community residents; and (d) considering cultural differences in a community. These processes are used to describe the "Focus on Kids" project, a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) risk reduction intervention that resulted in significant increases in condom use demonstrated by a randomized controlled trial.