PREVENT AND PREVAIL: AN OPEN DISCUSSION OF SEX, EMPOWERMENT, IDENTITY, STD’S AND HIV
Prevent & Prevail: An Open Discussion Of Sex, Empowerment, Identity, STDs & HIV began when our teens first began researching HIV infection and prevention in 2012. The more they learned about the position of youth in the struggle against HIV, the more they decided they wanted to do something about it. If parents, teachers and other mentors were failing to educate them, the teens decided they would educate themselves – and their friends. They designed a program for their peers that focused on their curiosity, questions, and feelings of invincibility. They wanted to address sexual feelings, identity, orientation, expression, and relationships, knowing that when no one is there to hear and answer difficult questions, young people are more likely to turn to risky behavior.
Each Prevent & Prevail session is an open, facilitated discussion where participants can ask questions. Youth facilitators have 20+ hours of training and are supported by adult trainers and chaperones. Each discussion takes two hours. There are two sessions designated for each of our topics, which include relationships and intimacy, sex and pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender expression and identity, bullying, drug use, rape and abuse, STIs and STDs, sexual ethics and laws, and information about stopping HIV in your community. A community agreement is established at the beginning of every meeting regarding confidentiality, respect, assumptions and socially-constructed norms.