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Frequently Asked Questions


California Healthy Youth Act FAQs

Responses prepared by the California Sexual Health Education Roundtable including the ACLU of Northern California, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, and Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California. 

View/Download PDF → 

What is the difference between the middle school and high school versions of the Positive Prevention PLUS Sexual Health Education curricula?

The middle school curricula (incl. HIV/STD) are more concrete and in-the-now, with class activities and group discussions that are more regulated, and with a greater emphasis on sexual abstinence as the only 100% sure method for avoiding STDs or an unplanned pregnancy.

The high school curricula emphasize life planning and long-term-consequences of sexual choices, with class activities and group discussions that depend on a higher level of student critical thinking and self-regulation, and provide an equal emphasis on sexual abstinence and the responsibility to use both contraception and communication as methods for avoiding STDs or an unplanned pregnancy.

Is Positive Prevention research-based?

Yes. A study of the impact of the Positive Prevention HIV/STD curriculum on the sexual risk behaviors of ninth graders (LaChausse, 2006) demonstrated a statistically significant delay in the initiation of sexual activity among the student.

Between 2010 and 2015, Positive Prevention PLUS Sexual Health Education was the focus of federally-funded OAH (Office of Adolescent Health) Tier II evaluation. Final peer-reviewed findings published in 2016 demonstrate a statistically-significant delay in the onset of sexual activity, plus statistically-significant increases in student-parent communication around sexual health issues.

Is Positive Prevention PLUS medically accurate?

Yes. Positive Prevention PLUS has undergone two biomedical reviews (in 2012 and 2014) by the federal Office of Adolescent Health, as well as scrutiny by the reviewers of the 2016 version.

Is Positive Prevention an abstinence-only curriculum?

No. Per California State Law, Positive Prevention HIV/STD and Positive Prevention PLUS both emphasize sexual abstinence as the only 100% sure method for avoiding STDs or an unplanned pregnancy. However, to prepare students for their future lives as sexually healthy and responsible young adults, the Positive Prevention curricula also provide information on contraception and access to community reproductive health services.

How many minutes of instruction is required for each Positive Prevention lesson?

Each Positive Prevention lesson is designed for a 45-minute class session. However, optional lesson extensions can extend the instructional time.

Must all lessons be taught daily for 6 days (for the HIV/STD lessons) or 13 days (for the Sexual Health lessons)?

While the research on the effectiveness of the Positive Prevention curricula is based on the delivery of daily lessons, it may be possible to modify this sequence to accommodate (1) one lesson per week over an extended period of time, e.g., one lesson every Friday; or (2) blending multiple lessons together for a multi-day workshop or retreat experience for your students.

If I do not have enough time to complete the entire lesson, can I skip the remaining content and move to the next lesson?

This is not recommended. Presenting both the content and the associated learning activities featured in each lesson is critical to accomplishing the intended impact of the Positive Prevention curriculum, per its Logic Model. Skipping portions of any lessons compromises the impact of the curriculum.

Can I modify lesson content and activities, for example I have other favorite activities and videos I would like to use instead of those featured in the Positive Prevention curriculum?

Some adjustments may be appropriate, others not. Please see the guidance on “Red Light, Yellow Light, and Green Light” adaptations in the Appendix.

Is there on online or independent study version of Positive Prevention?

An online independent study version of Positive Prevention PLUS Sexual Health Education for high school students is planned for release in 2016. Once released, it will be available for purchase here on our website.

Is there a Special Education version of Positive Prevention?

Yes. Positive Prevention PLUS Sexual Health Education for Special Populations is a 13-lesson sexual health education curriculum designed for moderate-to-high functioning special education students and developmentally-disabled adults in community settings. Each lesson features simplified content, worksheets, and visuals, plus suggested adaptations and materials for lower-functioning students. For more information, click here.

What is the purchase price of the various Positive Prevention curricula?

Current prices for all Positive Prevention curricula, student workbooks, and associated videos can be found in our online store. Inquiries regarding current prices for teacher and staff trainings should be initiated via the Contact Us tab on our website.

Must we purchase the Student Workbooks? 

It is highly recommended that each student has her or his own intact (bound or stapled) set of lesson worksheets and informational handouts. If your school or agency does not have the ability to duplicate and bind these materials, please consider purchasing Student Workbooks. See our online store for details.

Is teacher training required for school districts or community agencies implementing any of the Positive Prevention curricula?

Research indicates that for the greatest impact, all Positive Prevention lessons must be taught with fidelity. Fidelity is best assured when teachers/ instructors attend a Positive Prevention curriculum training facilitated by an experienced and authorized trainer. Inquiries regarding current prices for teacher and staff trainings should be initiated via the Contact Us tab on our website.

NOTE: In some states it is required that teachers be trained to deliver curriculum that is sexual in nature, and must attend an authorized training before implementing classroom instruction. Please check with your school administration to determine if your state requires training.

What additional materials and supplies will the teacher/instructor need before implementing Positive Prevention?

Every Positive Prevention curriculum comes with lesson-by-lesson masters for student worksheets, activities, and overheads, plus downloadable materials containing all student worksheets in both Spanish and English, teacher lesson presentation slides, STD photos, and (for the Sexual Health curriculum) a set of Safe Surrender video clips.

Teachers/instructors will need to duplicate student worksheets (if Student Workbooks are not purchased), as well as the learning activity cards (on color cardstock) for each lesson.

Several lessons require specific supplies (e.g., index cards, chemicals for the It’s All Relative activity, or contraceptive products). General instructional supplies will also be needed (e.g., poster paper, masking tape, markers). See each lesson for a list of materials needed.

How can our lead staff person become a certified Positive Prevention trainer, to train our remaining staff plus new hires, and to stay updated on the curriculum?

Becoming an authorized Positive Prevention trainer (one who trains other teachers/instructors in the implementation of the Positive Prevention curriculum) is a multi-step process paid for by the sponsoring institution. Only persons with both classroom teaching experience and adult staff development experience should be nominated to become an authorized Positive Prevention trainer. For more information, please contact Cardea Services.


What software do I need for viewing the lesson slides?

The curriculum requires the latest version of Acrobat Reader which can be downloaded from You may need to consult your district's IT staff.


I'm running Windows 10 and using the Edge browser, how can I view the lesson slides?

If you have a PC running Windows 10, and having issues opening the lesson files with Adobe Acrobat, make sure to grant permission for Windows 10 to open Flash files, which are embedded in the lesson PDFs. Giving Windows 10 permission to open Flash is done through Microsoft Edge, bundled with Windows 10.  Here is a link to a Microsoft knowledge article on how to enable Flash through Microsoft Edge: