Date of Award


Degree Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Laura F. Salazar, PhD

Second Advisor

Kymberle L. Sterling, PhD


The United States has seen an increase in incident HIV/AIDS rates in the past five years, especially amongst adolescents and young adults aged 13 to 24. Prior studies have shown that comprehensive sexual health education with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS education could be effective in reducing sexual risk behaviors that contribute to increases in HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) amongst adolescents, however, increased funding from congress in the past decade to promote abstinence only education has limited programs that teach this type of sexual health education, especially in states that have some of the highest rates of HIV and STIs in the United States. The purpose of this capstone project, entitled “Turn Down For What: The Run Down Before It Goes Down” is to provide a comprehensive sexual health education curriculum to schools in communities located in zip codes with high HIV rates and increasing adolescent sexually transmitted disease rates. This program will provide students with the knowledge and tools they need to negotiate safer sex, increase condom use and in turn, decrease STD incidence rates among adolescents aged 13 to 18 that reside in these zip codes. This program will serve as an update to existing programs that have already been identified as effective by including modern-day aspects such as references to social media and reality television.