Street Smart is an HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) prevention program for runaway and homeless youth between the ages of 11- and 18-years old. Interested staff may use this skills-building program to help groups of young people reduce unprotected sex, number of sex partners, and substance use. It is based on social learning theory, which links feelings, attitudes, and thoughts to behavior change. Street Smart is meant to be conducted in a community-based organization. It consists of two 8-hour sessions, one individual session, and a group visit to a community-based health resource. Each session has specific goals related to HIV/AIDS, STIs, pregnancy prevention, coping and negotiation skills, personalized risk behaviors, and reducing drug and alcohol use. Group members participate in scripted and non-scripted role plays, activities, and video production.


Street Smart was evaluated using a quasi-experimental design among two groups of runaways over two years. The researchers reported the following outcomes:

  • Increased condom use
  • Decrease in high-risk behavior at 6 months
  • Reduced sexual risk behaviors among females
  • Reduced substance use among females (intervention and control)

Core Components

Site Activities

  • Teach HIV/AIDS risk and how it applies to each person
  • Identify personal triggers, using peer support and small group skills-building sessions
  • Build participants' skills in problem-solving, personal assertiveness, and HIV/AIDS harm reduction

Participant Activities

  • Practice role playing
  • Participate in skills building
  • Demonstrate proper condom use

Basic Training

CDC no longer offers Street Smart training support, however implementation materials, including manuals, facilitator's guide, curriculum, and a PowerPoint presentation, are available through CDC's Effective Intervention webpage. For training, contact  Danya International


Page last updated: April 2018