The severity of the current AIDS epidemic, combined with the lack of successful biological interventions, necessitates an active educational program as the primary intervention strategy. Health education theories abound, but relatively little definitive application of these theories has been made to the issues involved with HIV transmission: sexual behavior and the sharing of intravenous drug apparatus. Significant behavior changes have occurred in some people, but the consistency of the behavior change may be difficult to sustain. Thus, the authors suggest that health education should be delivered repeatedly in culturally acceptable language and format, by community leaders, and through many different approaches (churches, schools, media, and so on). Finally, because of the limited definitive evidence regarding these approaches with respect to AIDS, considerable resources should be provided to evaluate these strategies and to revise programs on the basis of the evaluations.



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