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Safer Choices

Curriculum Source:

Main Message: The uniqueness of Safer Choices’ multiple component intervention is its focus on school-wide change and the influence of the total school environment on student behavior. By involving teachers, parents, community members, and especially students, the program is designed to have a positive influence on adolescents’ decisions regarding sex and help them feel supported in making the safest choices.

Target Population: Both genders from all racial backgrounds that attend high school.

Length: The Safer Choices curriculum is taught over two consecutive years, 10 lessons in Year One and 10 lessons in Year Two.  45 minutes per curriculum lesson, other four components over nine month school year.

Program Size: Classroom

Program Components: 

  1. School Organization, featuring a School Health Promotion Council involving teachers, students, parents, administrators, and community representatives.
  2. Curriculum and Staff Development, which includes a sequential 20-session classroom curriculum as well as staff awareness and training events.
  3. Peer Resources and School Environment, which involves establishing a Safer Choices peer team or club that hosts school-wide activities.
  4. Parent Education, featuring activities for parents such as parent newsletters, student-parent homework activities, and other parent events.
  5. School/Community Linkages, which involve activities to enhance students’ familiarity with and access to support services outside school, such as homework to gather information about local services, resource guides, presentations by HIV positive speakers.

Curriculum Components:

  1. Increase their knowledge about HIV and other STDs.
  2. Have more positive attitudes about choosing not to have sex or using condoms if having sex.
  3. Have greater confidence in their ability to refuse sexual intercourse or unprotected intercourse, use a condom, and communicate about safer sexual practices.
  4. Perceive fewer barriers to condom use.
  5. Have more accurate perceptions of their risk for HIV and other STDs.
  6. Communicate more with their parents regarding sexual issues.
  7. Be able to use refusal and negotiation skills in sexual situations.
  8. Reduce sexual risk behaviors (by choosing not to have sexual intercourse or by increasing condom use and use of other methods of protection if having sex).