Year of Publication

2016

College

Public Health

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Richard Crosby, PhD

Committee Member

Corrine Williams, ScD, MS

Committee Member

Mark Swanson, PhD

Abstract

In response to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funding announcement, the McLennan County Health Department proposes to implement Be Proud! Be Responsible!, an evidence-based HIV/STI and teen pregnancy prevention program into the pre-existing health curriculum of the sixth grade classes within the county. With the highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea within the state of Texas, and $7 million per year of teen pregnancy related costs spent in Waco, Texas alone, this intervention aims to increase HIV/STI knowledge, increase positive perceptions of safe sexual behaviors, increase parent-student communication about safe sexual behaviors, prolong first sexual initiation, and reduce frequency of risky sexual behaviors, thus contributing to a decrease in the incidence of STI rates and teen pregnancy within the county. In implementing the curriculum in to the health classes for sixth graders, we hope to educate the participating students before they have initiated sexual activity. Under the leadership of Program Director Kayla Storrs, Director of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Department within the McLennan County Health Department, and Program Coordinator, Cynthia Estrada, Associate Director of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Department, the program will be integrated into the pre-exiting curriculum of six intervention schools within the county and six control schools will be used to help evaluate the program effectiveness. Upon completion of program implementation, based on evaluation results, the program will then be implemented across the county.

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