Successful Culturally-Adapted AI/AN Interventions
An example of an innovative intervention that has the potential of becoming a sustainable resource for tribal communities. This 4-year project was initiated at the end of 2010, and will adapt a previously successful Internet-based HIV/STI and pregnancy prevention curriculum: It’s Your Game. Keep It Real: Delaying Sexual Behavior with an Effective Middle School Program [PDF - 253KB], for use with American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) middle school-aged adolescents (12–14 years). The effectiveness of the intervention will be evaluated in Alaska, the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington, Idaho), and Arizona; each region plans to include 400 adolescents (recruited from schools and other youth-serving organizations) for a total of 1,200 participants. A feasibility trial with tribal youth will guide the adaptation of the existing IYG curriculum. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has funded the University of Texas Prevention Research Center, which collaborates closely with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, and the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona.
A project of the Kaiser Family Foundation, Planned Parenthood, MTV, and CDC is one example of a successful reproductive health intervention. GYT promotes personal responsibility regarding sexual health, i.e. getting tested and treated for sexually transmitted infections. As AI/AN people are disproportionately affected by high rates of sexually transmitted infections, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, this social marketing campaign was adapted in 2010 to target AI/AN youth.
In collaboration with CDC’s Division of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) Prevention, CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health helped develop key messages and content, and participated in campaign planning.
Some GYT-focused outreach to AI/AN include—
- Producing a special issue of the IHS Primary Care Provider to commemorate STD Awareness month in April and to draw attention to the GYT campaign.
- Creating a Web-based AI/AN testing site locator for partner organizations to post on their own Web sites. IHS and tribal health facilities are included in the provider database, so AI/AN people across the country can benefit from this tool.
- Identifying a prominent American Indian spokesperson, rap artist, and actor Litefoot to join Team GYT, a group of celebrities popular among the GYT audience who help carry the GYT message. Litefoot is a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.
This curriculum covers a range of sexual and reproductive health topics including communication and peer education skills for participants. Beginning in 2008, Native STAND was adapted from the original STAND curriculum for AI/AN youth by a national group of AI/AN partners and topical experts. The program was piloted during the 2009–2010 school year at 4 off-reservation residential schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Education. To more fully evaluate the adapted curriculum in July 2010, 80 students attending 4 schools were selected by fellow students to be trained as peer educators using the Native STAND curriculum. Participants demonstrated a significant increase in knowledge of STD/HIV prevention and healthy relationships; more than 70% of the post-training questions were answered correctly in each area.
Learn more about the full evaluation report and the published monograph , and the Native STAND curriculum and supporting materials.