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The Role of Information and Social Learning on Risky Sexual Behavior in Cameroon
Last registered on May 10, 2017


Trial Information
General Information
The Role of Information and Social Learning on Risky Sexual Behavior in Cameroon
Initial registration date
March 14, 2016
Last updated
May 10, 2017 11:10 AM EDT
Primary Investigator
Sciences Po
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Sciences Po LIEPP
PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation
Stanford University
Additional Trial Information
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
In an attempt to minimize new HIV infections among young girls, the Cameroon Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health worked with researchers to design a generalizable school-based HIV/AIDS education program targeted at 13-year-old teenage girls. This study evaluates this school-based HIV/AIDS education program, known as ISAS (Information, Teenage Sexuality and Health), on fertility, reproductive health, and high-risk sexual behavior of young girls in 8th grade. This experiment was specifically designed to test whether the type of HIV information messenger as well as the type of information being provided affect how much information is retained, how much information is transmitted to peers, and how reported behavior changes among girls and their friends.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Duflo, Esther et al. 2017. "The Role of Information and Social Learning on Risky Sexual Behavior in Cameroon." AEA RCT Registry. May 10. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.609-3.0.
Former Citation
Duflo, Esther et al. 2017. "The Role of Information and Social Learning on Risky Sexual Behavior in Cameroon." AEA RCT Registry. May 10. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/609/history/17544.
Experimental Details
The experiment involved 318 junior high schools. The design is based on a two-step randomization:

- Schools were assigned, through block-randomization, to one of four groups: (1) control, (2) classic ABC education by a teacher, (3) classic ABC education by an outside consultant, and (4) ABC education + “relative risk” message by an outside consultant

- Schools were also assigned independently to two groups: (a) control, and (b) a one-hour in-class quizz on HIV prevention

This results in 8 experimental conditions : 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4a, and 4b
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Self-reported Behavior, Life outcomes, Intermediate Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Self-reported Behavior - questions on the quantity of sexual activity (occurrence of a sexual activity), as well as quality (characteristics of sexual partners and condom use).

Life outcomes - childbearing and schooling.

Intermediate Outcomes - quizzed girls on their knowledge of modes of transmission and prevention of HIV.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The experiment was implemented by IRESCO under guidance from the research team. The study took place in three French speaking regions of Cameroon with relatively different background characteristics (Yaoundé is purely urban whereas the South and West regions are mostly rural). In total, these three regions totalized 527 junior high schools (middle schools). We excluded from the sample all confessional schools as well as schools with fewer than 10 girls in 8th grade (our target grade). This left 326 schools out of which we randomly sampled 318.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Middle schools aka junior high schools
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
318 junior high schools
Sample size: planned number of observations
approximately 10 girls per school = 3312 girls
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1a. Pure Control = 40 schools
1b. In-class quizz only = 40 schools
2a. ABC message by a teacher = 40 schools
2b. ABC message by a teacher + in-class quizz = 40 schools
3a. ABC message by an outside consultant = 40 schools
3b. ABC message by an outside consultant + in-class quizz = 39 schools
4a. ABC + relative-risk message by an outside consultant = 39 schools
4b. ABC + relative-risk message by an outside consultant + in-class quizz = 40 schools
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB Name
Study has received IRB approval. Details not available.
IRB Approval Date
Details not available
IRB Approval Number
Details not available
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Is the intervention completed?
Is data collection complete?
Data Collection Completion Date
April 30, 2011, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)
Results from a randomized experiment conducted with teenage schoolgirls in Cameroon suggest that
HIV prevention interventions can be effective at reducing the incidence of teen pregnancy in the following
9-12 months by over 25 percent. We find little difference in effectiveness between one-time, one-hour
sessions delivered directly to students by specialized consultants and sessions delivered through regular
school staff trained over two days by specialized consultants. We also find little difference between the
standard “Abstain, Be Faithful, Use Condoms” curriculum and an enriched curriculum that includes information
on the heightened risk of cross-generational sex. Lastly, a one-time, one-hour self-administered
questionnaire on HIV and sexual behavior has an equally large impact on teen pregnancy. These results
suggest that rural teenage schoolgirls’ sexual behavior is highly responsive to even small interventions
that make the risks of HIV and pregnancy salient. We find no effects among urban schoolgirls, who are
more exposed to information and experience much lower rates of teenage pregnancy under the status
"Risk Information, Risk Salience, and Adolescent Sexual Behavior: Experimental Evidence from Cameroon," Dupas, Pascaline, Elise Huillery, and Juliette Seban. April 2017.