The unit plan for a HIV/AIDS Peer Education program is targeting African American teenagers who have signed up for the S. A. F. E (Stopping Aids For Everyone) Program. The program is a community health based curriculum designed to increase the awareness of HIV/AIDS transmission in the African American community. The group will range in age between 13-17 years of age and will be attending local high schools.

Group size will be approximately 20 students. The program would be on Saturdays at 12: 00 noon for 5 weeks at a local community center. The program is situated on Saturdays so it would not interfere with the student's schoolwork and school activities. The 5-week program is part of a 3-unit program designed for HIV/AIDs peer education. This first 5-week unit will focus mainly on HIV/AIDS transmission, while the other 2 units would focus on peer relations and methods of intervention / education . Statement of Purpose The unit for a HIV/AIDS awareness program, within the African American population, was developed because the transmission and impact of HIV/AIDS in this population has become alarming.

The HIV epidemic in the United States is increasingly becoming an epidemic affecting this minority group. Out of an estimated 774, 467 AIDS cases, in the year 2000, 292, 522 cases occurred among African American according to the CDC, making African Americans 38% of new AIDS cases while only representing 12% of the total US population. According to the CDC, in the year 2000 more African Americans were reported with AIDS than any other racial / ethnic group. Almost two-thirds (63%) of all women reported with AIDS were African American. The 2000 rate of reported AIDS cases among African Americans was 58. 1 per 100, 000, more than 2 times the rate for Hispanics and 8 times the rate for whites.

Data on HIV and AIDS diagnoses in 25 states with integrated reporting systems shows that during the period from January 1996 through June 1999, African Americans represented a high proportion (50%) of all AIDS diagnoses, but an even greater proportion (57%) of all HIV diagnoses. And among young people ages 13 to 24, 65% of the HIV diagnoses were among African American youths (CDC). HIV is the leading cause of death for African American females ages 18-35, and is the leading cause of death for African Americans ages 25-44. Although the daily headlines about HIV/AIDS have gone away, the disease has not, particularly among minority groups in the United States.

Not surprisingly, black children are suffering the consequences of the explosion of AIDS cases among women. Six of every ten U. S. children who acquired AIDS in the womb or upon birth are black, African American children represent about two-thirds (65%) of new pediatric AIDS cases. African Americans have been disproportionately impacted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Studies show that rates of HIV transmission and disease among African Americans are high, disproportionate, and are not declining as significantly in response to effective interventions as they are among whites.

Attention is urgently needed to increase our understanding of risk behaviors, social networks, and specific factors in the African American community that can be altered to reduce HIV infection (Smith et al).