Center for community and justice
A culturally-based program to reduce HIV sexual risk behavior and unplanned pregnancy among Latino youth.
For the past four years, CCJ has been a recipient of funding from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to conduct ¡Cuídate! (Take care of yourself!), a culturally-based program to reduce unplanned pregnancy and HIV sexual risk behavior among Latino youth.
According to the Center for Disease Control, Latinos are disproportionately affected by HIV. Nationally, Latinos constituted 20% of new HIV cases in 2009, while only making up 16% of the population. Latinos, also, have the highest dropout rate in the nation at 17.2%, compared with 6% of Anglo students. According to the Pew Research Center, 74% of Latinos report that the primary reason they drop out of high school is because they need to work to provide for their family as a result of unplanned pregnancy. Reality is half of Latinas will become pregnant with at least one baby before age 20. ¡Cuídate! targets all these issues by helping Latino youth develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills to reduce their risk for unplanned pregnancy and HIV.
¡Cuídate! is targeted male and female, Spanish and non-Spanish speaking Latinos aged 12-19 years. The program emphasizes risk reduction strategies such as sexual abstinence and correct condom use through activities that allow youth to acquire correct and reliable information. Participants engage in interactive games, group discussions, mini-lectures, and role-plays. The program consists of eight 1-hour modules delivered over 2 days to youth groups of 8-10 participants. ¡Cuídate! also teaches participants skills for maintaining health relationships and resources for education and career planning.