KEEP IT REAL. “If girls feel like you’re lecturing them, they’ll shut down. I encourage conversations that are interesting enough that they’ll want to add input. Start by bringing up boys. Instead of setting a somber tone, I keep it like a comedy.”  

—Shirlby Jones, hairdresser at First Impression, one of nearly 50 salons in the Barber and Beautician STD/HIV Peer Education Program (tel. 919.560.7760) of Durham, North Carolina

LAY OUT THE LATEX. “Speak to them and not at them—particularly [with] programs that build their skills in communication, assertiveness and self-esteem. Instead of standing in front of a room and saying how to put on a condom, have them actually practice doing it.”

—Allyson Iman Morehead, preventive health department, AmASSI Wellness Center ( or 1.800.STOPHIV), Los Angeles

EACH ONE,  TEACH ONE. “Girls are looking for someone to listen to them. We really get to know them and become like a mother or older sister.”

—Alma Ward-Venisee, HIV prevention educator and executive director, Investing in Our Youth, Quincy, Florida (tel. 850.627.4167)

To order Be Proud, Be Responsible!, an HIV-intervention curriculum for low-income adolescents of color, contact Select Media at 800.345.5540; for training in teaching it, call Deborah Haber at the Education Development Center, 800.225.4276