Title XX Introduction: Prevention
All prevention demonstration projects are required to teach abstinence education. The specific definition of abstinence education is outlined under Section 510 of Title V of the Social Security Act. This definition was designed in the context of meeting life goals and acquiring life skills, while incorporating youth development principles. The definition addresses traditional abstinence education services covering self discipline and responsibility with respect to sexuality as well as the problems associated with adolescent pregnancy. All prevention programs are required to be consistent with the federal definition for abstinence education. This definition is also referred to as “A-H”:
A. has as its exclusive purpose, teaching the social, psychosocial, and health gains to be realized by abstaining from sexual activity;
AFL prevention programs go beyond the education component. Grantees are encouraged to include important asset building components to strengthen the resiliency of their participants and support the A-H guidelines. In addition, the legislation states that there are other prevention services that can be offered: nutrition information and counseling; referral for screening and treatment of sexually transmitted infections; educational services relating to family life and problems associated with adolescent premarital sexual relations; appropriate educational and vocational services; transportation; outreach services to families of adolescents to discourage sexual relations among adolescents.
Prevention programs should be developmentally and culturally appropriate. The interventions and lesson plans should be geared toward the targeted age group and population.
Prevention programs may not provide direct referrals to family planning agencies or clinics, but may refer an AFL program participant to a Care project office, or to a neutral party, such as a parent, school counselor, or school nurse for further advice.