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Circle of Life (COL/AS+)

Sponsor: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Grant No.: TP2AH000003​ 
Years Funded: 2010-2015 
Principle Investigator: Carol Kaufman, PhD (​
     Professor, Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health, University of Colorado, Aurora, CO

Project Description ​​

Circle of Life (COL) was a five year project funded by the Office of Adolescent Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 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.”

Colorado School of Public Health

13001 E. 17th Place
Mail Stop B119
Aurora, CO 80045


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