Eric Buhi, MPH, PhD, Associate Professor in the Division of Health Promotion and Behavioral Science, has been awarded a grant to study health, sexuality, and HIV/AIDS prevention education in San Diego County charter schools. The funding, from a San Diego State University (SDSU) University Grants Program (UGP) award, will be used to
- assess the current state of health, sexuality, and HIV prevention education in San Diego County charter schools;
- among charter school teachers implementing health, sexuality, and/or HIV prevention education programming, determine knowledge, comfort, confidence, and training needs regarding delivery of such curricula; and
- strengthen collaborative relationships between the PI, San Diego County charter schools, and research team, to develop future extramural funding proposals and interventions.
According to Dr. Buhi, sexual and reproductive health among youth is a critical public health issue and, while enrollment in charter schools is increasing nationwide, virtually nothing is known about health, sexuality, and HIV prevention education implemented in San Diego County charter schools, including what content is being delivered (if any) and needs for teacher training. This community-based research project will be implemented in collaboration with SDSU College of Education and School of Journalism and Media Studies researchers and community leaders.
This project is unique given that no studies have been identified assessing the current state of health, sexuality, and HIV prevention education in charter schools. This study is timely given that there are 123 San Diego County charter schools, and enrollment in charter schools is increasing across the U.S. Moreover, as charter schools have greater curricular latitude/flexibility than public schools and often cater to students from under-served communities, this situation presents us with an opportunity to implement new, or revise existing, health, sexuality, and HIV education.