Reducing the Risk

Reducing the Risk: Building Skills to Prevent Pregnancy, HIV, and STD: is a 16-session, school based curriculum whose target audience is high school students in 9th and 10th grades. This program is designed to reduce the number of youth engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse by:

  1. 1. Encouraging students to practice abstinence;
  2. 2. Encouraging the delay in the initiation of sex;
  3. 3. Encouraging condom and contraception use among sexually active youth.

Reducing the Risk is an evidence-based health education program based on three behavior change theories: Social Learning Theory, Social Influence Theory, and Cognitive-Behavioral Theory.



Research shows youth who participated in Reducing the Risk reported the following significant behavior changes:

  • Delayed initiation of sexual intercourse
  • Increased communication with parents about abstinence and contraception
  • Increased condom use if sexually active
  • Increased contraceptive use if sexually active
  • Reduced incidence of unprotected sex

Results have been shown to last up to 18 months.



Learning Activities:

Brainstorming                                         Student-Parent Homework

Small Groups                                           Shopping for Contraceptive methods including condoms (optional)

Large Group Discussions                      Field Trip to Clinic (optional)

Role Plays                                                 Refusal and negotiation skill building

Defining and discussing abstinence   Personalization of HIV and pregnancy risk

Anonymous question box                     Identifying ad practicing delay tactics

Guest Speaker                                         Demonstration of contraceptive methods


Unique Features:

Reducing the Risk has been proven effective with youth for over 20 years and has served as the model for other evidence-based, effective interventions. Some Unique features include:

  1. Used as a model when researchers were creating the evidence-based program Safer Choices
  2. One of the first rigorously evaluated sexuality education curricula to have a measurable impact on behavior
  3. First curriculum that was successfully replicated and evaluated to show behavior change in multiple settings and communities