VOICES/VOCES (Video Opportunities for Innovative Condom Education and Safer Sex) is a single-session, video-based program for the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). VOICES/VOCES was designed to encourage condom use and improve condom negotiation skills, primarily among heterosexual African American and Latino men and women, aged 18 years and older, who are at high risk for HIV and other STDs.
The original research was conducted in STD clinics; however, clients who are at high risk for getting or transmitting HIV and other STDs might benefit from receiving VOICES/VOCES in other venues. The intervention has also been conducted in family planning centers, community health centers, community-based organizations (CBOs), drug rehabilitation clinics, and correctional facilities.
This brief intervention, available in English and Spanish, is a 45-minute program that can be easily integrated into the flow of services provided by busy clinics and CBOs. The intervention takes advantage of a “teachable moment,” when a person may be motivated to change behavior, for example, while sitting in the waiting room of an STD clinic. To implement VOICES/VOCES, health educators convene groups of 4 to 8 clients for a single, 45-minute session. Whenever possible, groups are uniform in gender and ethnicity so that clients can customize prevention strategies appropriate for a given culture. The actors in the videos present information on HIV/STD risk behavior and model condom use and negotiation. In the following small-group discussion, condom negotiation is roleplayed, practiced, and discussed. A poster is then used to show features of various condom brands in English and Spanish. At the end of the session, clients are given samples of the types of condoms they have identified as best meeting their needs.