Effective Interventions

Effective Interventions

High Impact Prevention


The Self-Help in Eliminating Life-threatening Diseases (SHIELD) intervention is based on several theories; Social Cognitive Theory, Social Identity Theory, Cognitive Dissonance (or inconsistency) Theory, and Social Influence Theory. In the SHIELD model of HIV prevention, one individual (a Peer Educator) is taught strategies to reduce HIV risk associated with drug use and sex behavior. In addition, Peer Educators are taught effective communication skills in order to talk with people in their social networks about HIV prevention information. Peer Educators are trained to be leaders within their social networks and communities. They use their communication skills to have conversations about prevention to help stop the spread of HIV.

The target population for the SHIELD intervention is male and female adults (18 years older) who are current or former drug users who interact with other drug users. The intervention can be delivered with clients who are HIV positive and HIV-negative.

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

How to request SHIELD training and technical assistance

As listed above, CDC no longer offers training or capacity building for SHIELD. If SHIELD training is desired, contact any of the SHIELD trainers within the following organizations listed below to make individual arrangements to obtain training. You are welcome also contact the original researchers. All costs associated with receiving SHIELD training will be paid by the requesting agency or individual. Here's a printer friendly version of the SHIELD Master Trainer List.

Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF)
Nickie Bazell, MPH
Capacity for Health Project
450 Sutter Street, Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94108
Direct: (415) 568-3307
Main: (415) 954-9988
Email: nbazell@apiahf.org
Website: www.apiahf.org 

Harm Reduction Coalition (HRC)

Narelle Ellendon, RN
Director of Capacity Building Services
22 West 27th Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Direct: (212) 213-6376, ext. 16
Main: (212) 213-6376
Email: ellendon@harmreduction.org
Website: www.harmreduction.org 

JSI Research & Training

Juli Powers, MPH
437 Memorial Drive SE, Suite A11
Atlanta, GA 30312
Direct: (404) 460-4794
Email: jpowers@jsi.com
Website: www.cba.jsi.com

To learn more about SHIELD research, contact:
Carl A. Latkin, Ph.D.
Phone: (410) 955-3972
Email: clatkin@jhsph.edu

Melissa A. Davey-Rothwell, Ph.D., MPH, CHES
Phone: (410) 614-5854
Email: mdavey@jhsph.edu

Research and Development for SHIELD

Latkin, CA, Sherman, S, & Knowlton, A. (2003). HIV prevention among drug users: Outcome of a network-oriented peer outreach intervention. Health Psychology, 22(4), 332-339.

Program Review Panel Information

The CDC requires all CDC-funded agencies using the SHIELD 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

SHIELD Core Elements

  • SHIELD is implemented in a small group setting (4-12 participants) to offer an environment that is conducive to sharing experiences and gaining social support from peers.
  • Participants go through the specified SHIELD Sequence- a series of activities that includes pre-program contact and 6 sequential intervention sessions.
  • Each SHIELD intervention session follows a specific structure that includes 5 components: Homework check-in, Presentation of new information, Peer Educator training activities, Homework assignment, and Summary.
  • SHIELD sessions aim to build three sets of skills necessary for participants to be a Peer Educator. These skills are: Communication skills for conducting effective peer outreach (PEER), HIV drug-related risk reduction techniques, HIV sex-related risk reduction techniques.
  • Every session includes interactive Peer Educator training activities which build Peer Outreach skills and increase Peer Educator self-efficacy. Through increased self-efficacy, participants develop a Peer Educator Identity. Activities include: Facilitator Role-models, Group Problem-solving activities, & Role-plays.

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.