Oregon Health and Science University Center for Healthy Communities

Native STAND (Students Together Against Negative Decisions)


The high rates of teen birth and sexually transmitted infections in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities indicate that sexual activity in the AI/AN population begins earlier than among other American teens, and often occurs without the use of protective measures .  Studies have reported sexual initiation at younger than average age and lower rates of consistent condom use among AI/AN youth. According to the CDC 2005 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, youth attending Bureau of Indian Education schools were more likely to have had four or more lifetime sex partners (21% versus 14% communities in other rural states). AI/AN youth are also affected by sexually transmitted infections at higher rates than whites.  Among AI/AN populations, 2009 reported rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and primary and secondary syphilis were 1.2 to 4.3 times higher than rates for whites. As a result, many AI/AN teens do not receive sufficient or appropriate health education on these topics.
The Oregon Health and Science University Center for Healthy Communities and the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board have collaborated to distribute a school and community-based youth development program based on Native STAND (Students Together Against Negative Decisions), a healthy decision-making curriculum for Native high school-aged students that addresses sexually transmitted infections and HIV, unintended pregnancy, substance abuse, suicide, healthy relationships, and violence.  The Native STAND project aims to:

  • Train and support AI/AN health educators in the use and delivery of the Native STAND program to their home communities and organizations
  • Measure and evaluate the adoption and impact of the program in AI/AN communities
  • Evaluate any differences in behavior between AI/AN youth in community programs who receive active versus passive levels of technical assistance in implementation

The overall goals of the project are to improve the health of AI/AN teens and young adults in the Pacific Northwest and nationally, and to distribute, implement and evaluate Native STAND in 50 tribal communities.

Project Identifier Native STAND (Students Together Against Negative Decisions)

Funding Source PRC Program

Project Status Active

Host Institution Oregon Health & Science University

Health Topics HIV/AIDS & STD prevention | Sexual health | Substance abuse prevention | Violence prevention

Research setting Tribal nations or area | Urban area

Race or ethnicity American Indian or Alaska Native

Gender Males and females

Age group Adolescents (12-17 years)

Contact Information Center
Center for Healthy Communities
3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, CB-669
Portland, OR 97239

Principal Investigator
Thomas Becker, MD, PhD

PRC Deputy Director
William Lambert
Phone: (503) 494-9488