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Sexual Risk Behavior Guidelines & Strategies

School health programs can help youth adopt lifelong attitudes and behaviors that support overall health and well-being—including behaviors that can reduce their risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

HIV, STD, and teen pregnancy prevention education should

  • Be developed with the active involvement of parents
  • Be locally determined and consistent with community values
  • Address the needs of youth who are not engaging in sexual intercourse as well as youth who are currently sexually active
  • Ensure that all youth are provided with effective education to protect themselves and others from HIV infection, other STDs, and unintended pregnancy


Guidelines for Effective School Health Education to Prevent the Spread of AIDS
Developed to help school personnel and others plan, implement, and evaluate educational efforts to prevent HIV infection

Science-Based Strategies

Effective HIV and STD Prevention Programs for Youth: A Summary of Scientific Evidence
Brief overview of prevention research

Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool
Helps schools select or develop effective health education curricula and improve the delivery of health education, including education to promote sexual health and prevent HIV infection, other STDs, and teen pregnancy

Reducing Adolescent Sexual Risk: A Theoretical Guide for Developing and Adapting Curriculum-Based Programs [pdf 8.5M]
Designed to help professionals design or adapt curricula so they focus on risk and protective factors related to sexual risk behaviors and use instructional principles most likely to have an impact

Compendium of Evidence-Based HIV Behavioral Interventions
CDC’s list of the strongest HIV behavioral interventions that have been rigorously evaluated and have demonstrated evidence of efficacy, including individual-, group-, and community-level behavioral interventions for populations at high risk for HIV

Registries of Programs Effective in Reducing Youth Risk Behaviors
Programs identified by federal agencies as worthy of recommendation on the basis of expert opinion or a review of design and research evidence, including programs focused on HIV/AIDS, STD, and teen pregnancy prevention

Bringing High-Quality HIV and STD Prevention to Youth in Schools [pdf 400K]
CDC fact sheet

In Brief: Promoting Effective HIV and STD Prevention Through Schools [pdf 388K]
CDC fact sheet

Special Topics

HIV and Young Men Who Have Sex With Men [pdf 299K]
CDC fact sheet

HIV Testing Among Adolescents: What Schools and Education Agencies Can Do [pdf 1.1M]
CDC fact sheet



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