Tri-City Health Center

Tri-City Health Center, founded in 1970, promotes community-wide education and preventive care and provides accessible health services to underserved populations in Fremont, the second largest city in Alameda County. The comprehensive HIV Services Program offers services to over 200 HIV positive clients including medical care, individual/group counseling, and case management. In addition to prevention and education programs, Tri-City is a state certified Anonymous Test Site serving approximately 1,500 clients a year.

For over 7 years, Tri-City has provided HIV prevention education to youth engaging in high-risk behaviors, including homeless and street youth, youth in alternative schools, youth in group homes, and probationary and incarcerated youth. Over the years of providing services, Tri-City has maintained an excellent reputation among teens as a place where confidentiality is maintained and it is “safe” to talk.

Youth Action Project

Lenie Garcy, a peer outreach educator, explains how to use the female condom during a Safer Sex Education Workshop.

Adolescents who do not attend school or who are chronically truant, as compared to their in-school counterparts, participate in higher rates of HIV risk behaviors. In addition, these high-risk adolescents are typically not reached by traditional school-based HIV prevention programs.

The Youth Action Project(YAP)is a multi-level community-based HIV prevention intervention that targets a variety of high-risk adolescents (i. e,, homeless, runaway, chronically truant, and gang-affiliated youth) in Southern Alameda County.

The YAP is based on Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory and involves four levels of intervention. In order to assure that the intervention is culturally sensitive and relevant to the needs of high-risk adolescents, members of the target population are involved in all phases of the program.

The first component involves the distribution of HIV prevention information and supplies to high-risk adolescents in public areas where they congregate, such as parks and street comers. Outreach is also used to invite interested individuals to attend the second component, a safer sex workshop.

The workshops are interactive sessions where self-protective skills are learned through activities and peer modeling. The skills are then practiced and self-efficacy is enhanced through role plays with guided practice and corrective feedback. The primary content areas of the workshops include: consequences of high risk sexual activity, sexual communication skills, sexual decision making, effects of substance use on self regulation, condom placement skills, and erotic alternatives to high-risk sexual activity.

The third component is a monthly group where adolescents participate in additional prevention activities and receive social support for positive behavior change.

The fourth component is a series of weekly open “office hours” where the participants can practice protective skills, receive additional HIV prevention supplies/education, and receive feedback and social support from other peers and project staff,

This program is a collaborative effort between Tri-City Health Center, the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies at University of California, San Francisco and Northern California Grantmakers. Outreach services were initiated in June 1994 and workshops began in December l995. As of October 2, 1995, over 1100 high-risk adolescents have received HIV prevention services through street outreach and over 220 youth have attended HIV prevention workshops.

Last modified: February 24, 2011