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Circle of Life (COL/AS+)

Circle of Life (COL) was a five year project funded by the Office of Adolescent Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Grant number TP2AH000003; 9/2010-8/2015; Kaufman PI).  The project adapted a classroom-based sexual risk reduction curriculum, Circle of Life to a multimedia format (mCOL) and tested its effectiveness in a group-randomized controlled trial with Native Boys and Girls Clubs (NBGC) in the Northern Plains.

The Intervention:  mCOL uses the medicine wheel as a foundation for teaching culturally relevant information about prevention of HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and Hepatitis B & C.  mCOL consists of 7 chapters delivered online and supplemental group activities that teach skills,  decision making, and standing up to peer pressure.

Counterfactual intervention:  After-School Science Plus (AS+) was offered to youth in the control units.  AS+ is an evidence-based science program designed for youth ages 8 to 14 years.  Topics included bubble science, liquids and solids, and gravity.  To match the mCOL condition, AS+ was shortened from 11 to 7 lessons.

The Study:  The study was conducted in 15 NBGC sites which were randomized to deliver mCOL or AS+.  One hundred and sixty seven youth enrolled in the project.  Surveys were administered at baseline, after the intervention, and 9 months later.   

Follow-up:  mCOL is being reprogrammed to improve accessibility.  To access the program, go to and search for “Circle of Life”.

Funding Sources: US Department of Health and Human Services

Principle Investigator: Carol Kaufman, Ph.D. 

Colorado School of Public Health

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