Effective Interventions

Effective Interventions

High Impact Prevention

A multi-session, skills-building program to help youth practice safer sexual behaviors and reduce substance use. Sessions address improving youths' social skills, assertiveness and coping through exercises on problem solving, identifying triggers, and reducing harmful behaviors. Agency staff also provide individual counseling and trips to community health providers.

The Street Smart program targets youth, ages 11 to 18. The original research was conducted with runaway youth and homeless youth, however the intervention is not limited to that sub-population.

Street Smart logo

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


Cicatelli Associates, Inc. presented a Street Smart Webinar on September 10, 2009. The webinar was designed to prepare agency staff and stakeholders on how to implement the Street Smart intervention, including associated costs and potential challenges.  

View the Powerpoint presentation from the webinar. 

Research and Development for Street Smart

Rotheram-Borus, M., Van Rossem, R., Gwadz, M., Koopman, C., Lee, M. (1997). Reductions in HIV risk among runaway youths. Los Angeles, University of California, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Social and Community Psychiatry, Los Angeles, CA.

Rotheram-Borus, M.J., Song, J., Gwadz, M., Lee, M., Van Rossem, R., Koopman, C. (1993). Reductions in HIV Risk Among Runaway Youth. Prevention Science, 4(3), 173-187.

Program Review Panel Information

The CDC requires all CDC-funded agencies using the Street Smart 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 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 judgment 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

Street Smart Core Elements

  • Enhancing affective and cognitive awareness, expression, and control
  • Teaching HIV/AIDS risk hierarchy and its personal application
  • Identifying personal triggers, using peer support and small group skills-building sessions
  • Building participant’s skills in problem solving, personal assertiveness, and HIV/AIDS harm reduction

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.