"Proyecto Saber y Salud" ("Project Knowledge and Health") is a new peer-to-peer sex education program being launched by San Antonio's Palo Alto College with funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The outreach is geared mainly toward minority students -- a group disproportionately impacted by HIV, hepatitis C, and substance abuse issues.
"[Researchers] found substance abuse and these chronic STDs are some of the leading causes of the 18-24 year-old age group dropping out of college," said Timmy Ivory, a program peer counselor. "If we can give them information, it gives them a better chance of completing at least a community college education."
The $85,000 SAMHSA grant will fund paid peer counselors, monthly workshops, and similar events, as well as underwrite on-campus STD testing conducted by partner health agencies. Palo Alto's website will feature a virtual health information center for students.
"What research has found is that the students were more receptive to hearing from students," Ivory said.