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Adolescent Sexual Health

NCSD is committed to promoting sexual health and STD prevention for adolescents. Each year, almost half of the approximately 19 million new STD infections are among youth aged 15 to 24. Yet true sexual health is more than the absence of disease. To this, NCSD is involved with several initiatives to promote youth development and community strategies to reduce STD, HIV, and unplanned pregnancy risk for young people.

Adolescent Sexual Health Initiatives:

Preparing for PrEP--Science, Research, and Access Webinar: Click here for the slides and recording from this September 2016 webinar. 

Collecting Student Data to Inform SHS Programs: A Webinar on Utilizing Technology for Data Collection and Program Improvement for School-Based Settings: Click here for the slides and recording from this February 2016 webinar. 

NCSD 2013 Annual Meeting - Adolescent Session


NCSD 2013 Annual Meeting Adolescent Session

Breaking Down the Barriers:  Providing Adolescents Access to Key Sexual Health Services

Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Health Department, New York
Holly Howard, California Department of Public Health
Gowri Nagendra, NYC STD / HIV Prevention Training Center
Ralph Wilmoth, Arkansas Department of Health (speaking on experience in Colorado)

Promoting Adolescent Health Through School-Based HIV/STD Prevention and School-Based Surveillance

On August 1, 2013, NCSD was awarded a new, 5-year, CDC-Division of Adolescent and School Health Cooperative Agreement, 1308:  Promoting Adolescent Health Through School-Based HIV/STD Prevention and School-Based Surveillance.  Under this new agreement, NCSD will provide capacity building assistance to state education agencies to improve youth access to key sexual health services. 

Other Funded NGOs Providing Capacity Building Assistance:

  • Advocates for Youth
  • American Psychological Association
  • Cicatelli Associates Inc.
  • Gay Straight Alliance Network
  • Healthy Teen Network

National Programs to Improve the Health and Educational Outcomes of Young People

Since 2003, NCSD has received funding from the CDC-Division of Adolescent and School Health to provide capacity building assistance to state health and education agency officials to develop coordinated sexual health policies and programs for young people. More recently, NCSD has strongly advocated on DASH's behalf to ensure that the important work DASH funds will continue irrespective of their reorganization. All CDC-DASH HIV prevention activities have shifted to the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP), and have become a new division in NCHHSTP.


In 2011 NCSD was awarded another five year cooperative agreement from the CDC-Division of Adolescent and School Health to increase capacity of education and health agencies to address sexual health. NCSD’s five year goals are to strengthen policies, practices and programs for sexual health including HIV, other STDs and teen pregnancy among youth; and to increase implementation of school-based or school-linked STD and HIV screening programs, policies, and/or procedures.

Year 2 (2012-2013) Activities:


Year 1 (2011-2012) Activities:

  • Matched with four project sites – (state or local) education agencies from Tennessee, Michigan, South Carolina and the city of Chicago.
  • Conducted two webinars with Answer entitled More Than Facebook: Harnessing Technology to Prevent STDs among Teens.
  • Provided sub-award funds to each project site to assist with additional projects including training peer educators; distributing state-wide call to action paper; maintaining State Alliance for Adolescent Sexual Health’s website; creating a companion document highlighting the importance of school-based sex education and encouraging stakeholders to access the complete guide; purchasing of supplies for training cadre to help increase training participants access to materials for implementation of curriculum; and designing a training cadre logo.

NCSD Webinar Series on Replicable Models of School-based Sexual Health Services for Adolescents

During the 2010-2011 school year, NCSD produced four webinars on school-based sexual health services for youth. All were well-received and developed to meet NCSD members' needs around sharing strategies for the successful implementation of STD testing and other comprehensive reproductive health services in a school setting.

The first webinar, hosted on September 1, 2010 and titled State Efforts to Support School-based STD Screening Programs, highlighted strategies and partnerships the Louisiana STD Control Program has developed to support school-based STD screenings in Orleans Parish, as well as how the STD Section of the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) successfully partners with local health departments and other MDCH programs to screen almost 3,000 students annually in nine school-based and school-linked sites throughout Michigan.

Our second webinar, hosted on September 15, 2010 and titled The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Going Big: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the School-Based Screening Program in Washington, DC, focused on the successes and lessons learned from the district-wide expansion of the District of Columbia Department of Health’s school-based screening program.

The third webinar, School-based STD Screening Efforts in Miami-Dade County, Florida, took place on May 10, 2011. This webinar highlighted how the Miami-Dade County Health Department and Miami-Dade County Public Schools teamed up to provide school-based STD screening events in two public high schools as a direct response to the 1 in 4 STD data regarding adolescent girls in this country.

The fourth webinar of the series, Providing STD and Reproductive Health Services in a Rural Setting: The Story of the Durango High School’s School Based Health Center, occurred on May 26, 2011.This webinar focused on how the school-based health center (SBHC) in Durango High School was able to include services like STD testing and treatment into its menu of services with community support and consent.

National Stakeholders Collaborative

From 2003 to 2011, NCSD was a member of the National Stakeholders Collaborative (NSC), a collaborative project also comprised of the Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs (AMCHP), the National Association of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), and the Society of State Leaders of Health and Physical Education (the Society). Over the course of 8 years, the NSC brought together state health and education officials from 33 states in a two- to three-day strategic planning process, also known as National Stakeholders Meetings (NSM), to coordinate and improve HIV, STD, and unintended and teen pregnancy prevention policies and programs for school-aged youth. Through follow-up technical assistance, such as mini-grants, webinars, and site visits NSM teams from across the country were able to...

  • Create the Core Competencies Toolkit for Providers of Adolescent Sexual Health and Reproductive Health Programs and Services (California-- find the toolkit in our STD Information and Resource Database)
  • Host a professional development event on medically accurate HIV, STI, and substance abuse prevention tools and resources for Jefferson County school administrators, Safe and Drug Free Schools coordinators, school nurses, counselors, and health educators (Kentucky)
  • Create a manual for schools on developing appropriate HIV policies (Massachusetts)
  • Develop and revise the joint state health and education agency white paper, The State of Adolescent Sexual Health in Michigan (Michigan)
  • Sponsor trainings in 2009 for over 150 school counselors, nurses, health educators, and other school health professionals on effective strategies for engaging parents when developing, revising, reviewing, and promoting sex education curriculums and school health prevention programs (Missouri)
  • Author the Guidelines for Sexual Health and Disease Prevention, a K-12 framework for comprehensive sexual health education in schools statewide (Washington State)

Collaboration in ACTion Reducing HIV/STDs & High Risk Behaviors in Our Communities (CO-ACT)

In addition to our work as part of the NSC, NCSD also partnered with the National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO) to develop the COllaboration in ACTion: Reducing HIV/STDs & High Risk Behaviors in Our Communities (CO-ACT) Project, a pilot project that was created to strengthen state and local health departments’ capacity to collaborate with their respective education partners to develop, implement, adapt and evaluate effective and sustainable adolescent HIV/STD prevention programs. Through CO-ACT, state and local teams from Baltimore, Maryland and Durham County, North Carolina solidified their internal and external partnerships to better engage youth and teachers, respectively, at health promotion events like the annual Maryland HIV Youth Summit and through the creation of professional development trainings that meet the requirements of the North Carolina’s 2009 Healthy Youth Act.

Additional Resources:

Policy Maker Education

Information Coming Soon!


Centers for Disease Control & Prevention - Division of Adolescent and School Health

School-Based STD/HIV Screening Resources:

Guide to Implementing a Sexually Transmitted Disease School Wide Screening - Michigan Department of Community Health

Starting a School-Based Chlamydia Screening Project in Indian Country - Indian Health Service, National STD Program