SIHLE is a peer-led, social-skills training aimed at reducing HIV sexual risk behavior among sexually active, African-American females, ages 14-18. An adaptation of the SISTA intervention, SIHLE emphasizes ethnic and gender pride. It also enhances awareness of HIV risk reduction strategies such as abstaining from sex, using condoms consistently, and having fewer sex partners. SIHLE is designed to foster positive attitudes and norms toward consistent condom use. Homework activities are designed to involve male partners and emphasize the importance of their involvement in safer sex. The intervention consists of four 3-hour sessions, delivered by two peer facilitators (ages 18-21) and one adult facilitator.


SIHLE was evaluated using an experimental evaluation design with treatment and control conditions in Birmingham, Alabama. The treatment group included 522 adolescent females seeking services at 4 community-based organizations. Outcomes were measured at 6 and 12 months. The following outcomes were reported:

  • Better condom application skills
  • Increased consistent condom use
  • Reduced number of new sex partners
  • Reduced incidence of unprotected sex
  • Reduced incidence of sexually transmitted infections
  • Reduced incidence of self-reported pregnancy

Core Components

Site Activities

  • Conduct small group sessions that meet session goals
  • Implement SIHLE with female teens who have had sexual intercourse and are between the ages of 14-18 
  • Use one skilled adult facilitator who is knowledgeable about female teen culture, along with 2 peer female facilitators (ages 18-21) to implement SIHLE group sessions
  • Use materials that are age, gender, and culturally appropriate to motivate gender and ethnic pride and to maintain interest throughout the sessions
  • Train female teens in assertive communication skills to demonstrate care for their partners and to negotiate abstinence or safer sex behaviors
  • Teach female teens proper condom use.
  • Discuss triggers that make it challenging for teens to negotiate safer sex
  • Deliver intervention to teens in community-based settings, not in school or during school hours

Participant Activities

  • Negotiate abstinence or safer sex behaviors
  • Negotiate proper condom use with partners
  • Build communication skills to express caring for partners

Basic Training

CDC only offers SIHLE training to CDC Division of Reproductive Health grantees. If interested in training, contact a master trainer. Every SIHLE training should include two adult trainers and two peer trainers. SIHLE kit materials are for individuals who have completed the training, are available through a password-protected site, and include implementation materials. For ordering information and questions, contact Danya International. Additional implementation resources are available for purchase through ETR and partner Sociometrics. Resources include, digitized program package, evaluation instrument, program package, and users guide.

Page last updated: March 2017