CDC Foundation and Conrad N. Hilton Foundation help CDC Educate Adolescents on Substance Use and STD Prevention

Substance use is associated with sexual risk behaviors among youth, which puts teens at greater risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), according to studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To help protect adolescent health and safety, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has provided a $1.5 million grant to the CDC Foundation that enables CDC to develop a comprehensive substance use prevention and sexual risk behavior reduction program in high-risk communities in three states—Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio.

“Adolescence is a time when young people take risks, including using alcohol or drugs, or taking sexual risks,” said Dr. Stephanie Zaza, director, Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) at CDC. “Educating teens and providing schools and communities with tools will help youth adopt lifelong attitudes and behaviors that support their overall health and well-being. This new program will help communities take specific steps to reduce substance use and prevent HIV/STD infection among teens.”

The pilot program will focus on prevention education, referrals to health services, reducing stigma and monitoring and evaluation. One of the program’s main goals is to help teens gain knowledge and skills to prevent substance use and HIV/STD infection. The project will also include development of a case study to evaluate the linkages between Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) and its outcomes to develop the evidence base for school-based brief interventions.

CDC reports that many young people engage in sexual risk behaviors that can result in unintended health outcomes. Among U.S. high school students surveyed in 2013, 34 percent were currently sexually active, and among those students 22.4 percent had drunk alcohol or used drugs before last sexual intercourse. The use of alcohol and other drugs can increase the likelihood of other risky sexual behaviors that place adolescents at risk for HIV infection, other STDs and unintended pregnancy.

School health education programs and preventive health services along with community outreach can help youth adopt lifelong attitudes and behaviors that support overall health and well-being—including behaviors that can reduce their risk of substance use and STDs.

“Helping adolescents make healthy choices requires the involvement of families, communities and many other sectors of society,” said Dr. Judith Monroe, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation. “We are thankful for the support of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the dedication of CDC in making this initiative possible.”

About the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world’s disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance use, helping children affected by HIV and AIDS, supporting transition-age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad Hilton’s support for the work of Catholic Sisters. In addition, following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a nonprofit organization doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. In 2015, the Humanitarian Prize was awarded to Landesa, a Seattle-based land rights organization. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.4 billion in grants, distributing $107 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2015. The Foundation’s current assets are approximately $2.5 billion. For more information, please visit