AHEAD’s Teen Action Program (TAP) was established to provide strategies to eliminate the three main factors that fuel the HIV/AIDS crises: poverty, ignorance, and harmful traditional practices.These factors are powerful indicators for the need to develop innovative youth initiatives and programs to educate young people, and guide them towards becoming responsible, productive citizens, while encouraging youth to adopt behaviors that will lead to healthy, wholesome and responsible lives.
TAP is designed to give adolescents and other young people information and skills to help them navigate successfully from youth to adulthood while avoiding negative behaviors that invariable lead to unplanned sexual activities, early pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, school drop-outs, drugs and other mind-altering substances. TAP focuses on helping young people develop life skills in decision making, self-esteem, career development, and goal setting. The primary focus of TAP is “prevention.”
A two-pronged approach is utilized that focuses on current and changing values and attitudes towards sexuality and reproduction, proper nutrition and hygiene, education, and participation in community-building activities for youth. Because preadolescents are in the early stages of rapid development physically, socially and mentally, and have a much greater capacity and willingness for accepting new ideas, the focus for this group is on attitude and behavioral development while emphasizing self esteem, gender equity and presonal hygiene.
AHEAD’s Health/Skills, Teen Action Programs (TAP)
Provides life and vocational skills training.
Provides peer educational and leadership training.
Conducts youth campaigns for behavioral development and gender equity.
Focuses on behavioral development for preadolescents.
Provide Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) for youth.
In addition to health education, counseling, education and recreational activities, TAP participants are trained to provide Home Based Care for chronically ill patients. In so doing, they learn empathy and compassion; they understand how people begin to make the transition from active life to near death; they learn that AIDS is a non-compromising disease; and, they learn a most important lession: “HIV/AIDS is a preventable disease.”
During their training, youth participate in community activities to help get the message out about HIV/AIDS prevention and other problems facing the community. They share information with their peers through the use of popular entertainment methods, including drama, music, and poetry. Mass media is used in varying degrees to provide information to the public.