High Impact Prevention

Project AIM is a group-level youth development intervention designed to reduce HIV risk behaviors among youth. It is based on the Theory of Possible Selves and encourages at-risk youth to imagine a positive future and discuss how current risk behaviors can be a barrier to a successful adulthood. 

AIM logo

Project AIM consists of 12 sessions divided into 4 parts. Project AIM uses group discussions, interactive and small group activities, and role-plays to encourage youth to explore their personal interests, social surrounding, and what they want to become as an adult. Activities include taking a career interest inventory, developing business cards and resumes, and participating in interviews. These activities allow youth to envision themselves in a future career and involve them in the planning and decision-making for their future. 

Project AIM targets at-risk youth, ages 11 to 14.

Important CDC Update: 

The CDC’s strategy for High Impact HIV Prevention involves prioritizing and implementing an optimal combination of cost-effective, scalable interventions based on the current state of the science.  This shift should help improve the effectiveness of HIV prevention efforts, reduce HIV incidence, and ultimately increase the possibility of achieving an AIDS-free America.  In its ongoing effort to align HIV prevention resources with current surveillance data and this strategy, the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP) at CDC will not offer trainings or capacity building assistance on the following evidence-based interventions (EBIs): AIM, ¡Cuídate!, Focus on Youth, MIP, Nia, RAPP, Safety Counts, SHIELD, SIHLE, SISTA, Street Smart, RESPECT and VOICES/VOCES (except when used with MSM). The Division also will not offer trainings or capacity building assistance on some new EBIs, such as Healthy Love. Health departments or other funders may continue to support implementation of these EBIs, and the implementation materials for all these interventions will remain on this site and be available for download. If you have additional questions about this issue, please contact interventions@danya.com.

CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health (DRH) will provide support to their grantees on AIM, ¡Cuídate!, and SIHLE. For further information on DRH’s efforts, please contact Trisha Mueller at czj5@cdc.gov

Project AIM Video: Making the Magic of Project AIM

This video is designed to be used in the Project AIM Training of Facilitators (TOF) to showcase the "magic" that occurs when all of the different elements of Project AIM come together. Making the magic of Project AIM highlights all the ways we can affect youth, theories of motivation (and persuasion), taking advantage of the developmental stage of youth and their needs and desires, rewarding their efforts by successful achievement, and providing encouragement to reach out. Project AIM helps to elicit the youth's talents and investment in their dreams. Combined with your own abilities as facilitators to connect with youth - Project AIM provides tools to make some meaningful changes for these youth.  

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Research and Development

Clark, L., Miller, K., Nagy, S., Avery, J., Roth, D., Liddon, N., et al. (2005). Adult identity mentoring: Reducing sexual risk for African-American seventh grade students. Journal of Adolescent Health, 37, 337.el-337.e10.

Program Review Panel Information

The CDC requires all CDC-funded agencies using the Project AIM intervention to identify, or establish, and utilize a Program Review Panel and complete Form 0.1113 to document this activity. The intervention researchers and developers are not involved in this activity. This is a CDC requirement for their grantees, and all questions in this regard should be directed to your agency's CDC Project Officer or to the health department funding your agency's implementation of the intervention.

The Program Review Panel guidelines, instructions for completion of Form 0.113, and the form itself are available under the Related Links section of the this website.

CDC Policy on Youth Peer Outreach Workers

CDC funded (directly or indirectly) agencies using youth (either paid or volunteer) in program outreach activities need to use caution and judgement in the venues/situations where youth workers are placed. Agencies should give careful consideration to the "age appropriateness" of the activity or venue. Additionally, agencies should comply with all relevant laws and regulations regarding entrance into adult establishments/environments. Laws and curfews should be clearly outlined in required safety protocols developed and implemented by agencies directly and indirectly funded by CDC.

If you have specific questions, please contact your CDC project officer.

More Info

Project AIM Content Core Elements

  • Future Thinking 
  • Present Action
  • Safeguarding One's Future

Project AIM Implementation Core Elements

  • Two skilled facilitators must be used to deliver multiple intervention sessions.
  • Deliver multiple intervention sessions, with days in between sessions for youth to process information, draw conclusions and invest in their goals. 

Project AIM Pedagogical Core Elements

  • Youth create a portfolio of their work representing their positive possible future selves and the activities promoting the achievement of that possible future self.
  • Deliver activities in ways that support youth's achievement of a positive future self. For example, providing participants with enthusiastic positive feedback that focuses on their individual strengths. 

Technical Assistance

The materials on this site are designed for HIV/AIDS prevention with persons at risk for acquiring or transmitting HIV. They are meant to be resources used by HIV prevention providers such as health departments and community-based organizations so as to provide the best evidence-based HIV prevention services. These materials are not meant for the general public. They are not meant for children. They are not school-based HIV prevention strategies.

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