Educational or Curriculum

Initiative Description: Schools were assigned to teach one of three curricula in a quasi-experimental intervention study: the school’s standard pregnancy and HIV prevention curriculum; the Reducing the Risk curriculum; or a modified Reducing the Risk curriculum, adapted for high sensation seekers and impulsive decision-makers. The curriculum emphasizes that youth should avoid unprotected intercourse; that the best way to do this is to abstain from sex; and that if they do not abstain from sex, they should use contraceptives (especially condoms) to guard against pregnancy and STDs, especially HIV. The original curriculum is 16–17 class sessions in duration and includes lessons on abstinence, refusal skills, getting and using protection, HIV risk behaviors, and preventing HIV and other STDs.

Study Results: Students from both intervention groups demonstrated short-term improvements in knowledge and delayed sexual initiation.

Reference: Zimmerman, R. S., Cupp, P. K., Donohew, L., Sionéan, C. K., Feist-Price, S., & Helme, D. (2008). Effects of a school-based, theory-driven hiv and pregnancy prevention curriculum. Perspectives On Sexual & Reproductive Health, 40(1), 42-51. doi:10.1363/4004208

Level of Evidence: 2 out of 5 stars Good