Module 4: Foundation of a Prevention Program


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Goal of Module 4: To provide methods, examples, and tools with which to carry out your HIV/AIDS prevention program.

In order to provide an effective HIV prevention intervention for Native people, you will need to lay a strong community foundation and apply intervention programs in a culturally meaningful way. One option is to tailor existing interventions to fit the unique needs of your Native community. This module includes an overview of program components, information on CDC’s Advancing HIV Prevention Initiative, descriptions of evidence-based interventions, and an introduction to storytelling as a prevention strategy.

Contents 1a Core Cultural Values
1. Components of a Comprehensive Prevention Program:

2. Advancing HIV Prevention Initiative:
3. Evidence-Based Interventions:
4. Introduction to Storytelling as a Prevention Strategy:

To build a Native health or prevention program, you first need to understand the core cultural values of your focus population. Be sure to show respect for ancestral knowledge, current leadership, and the role of elders in community decisions. Take time to plan your programs with the input of key members of your community. These steps will help to make your prevention activities more effective.

Successful prevention programs for Native communities often differ from programs for non-Native communities. While Native programs use common tools such as outreach, education, counseling, and testing, they deliver services in a unique way.

  • Grandparent and elder education programs stress the cultural value of youth and elder communication and relationships.
  • Native community-building and cultural activities aim to shape healthy cultural identity and self-esteem.
  • Mentorship programs strengthen family and community relationships and teach essential values and health information. They rely on community strengths rather than professional health resources.

The Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) sponsors an Elders & Youth Conference that brings generations together. The conference is a significant part of the Alaska Native community. In 2006, the Elders & Youth Conference had a record number of attendants: 1,032 people gathered to interact, share knowledge, develop friendships, and strengthen ties among Alaska Natives.1

The Native American AIDS Project (NAAP), a San Francisco-based program, offers a weekly Drumming Circle that fosters community, responsibility, and self-respect among urban Native people. Many Native people experience stigma as a result of their drug and disease-related experiences; NAAP provides clients with an opportunity to return to elements of traditional Native culture.

1First Alaskans Institute. AFN/First Alaskans Elders & Youth Conference Report 2006. Available at: Accessed February 19, 2007.