Drug Education and Prevention of HIV
Funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services/SAMHSA, SWLAHEC began implementing The Drug Education and PrevenTion of HIV (DEPTH) Project on October 1st, 2008. This five year community collaborative project is based on SWLAHEC’s experiences in providing the SHIP Project from 2008-2008. The DEPTH Project seeks seek to prevent substance abuse and HIV among African-American youth between the ages of 12 – 17 who live in the high-risk minority communities of southwest Louisiana. This project will utilize small group interventions with a youth development approach to address and reach the goals of this project.
The goals of this program are to (1) Reduce substance abuse among young people by strengthening beliefs that substance abuse and other high-risk behaviors do not fit with a positive and healthy lifestyle, as well as an increasing commitment to avoid substance use and other high-risk behaviors. At the completion of the program, parents/caretakers of youth will be more educated on the drug issues that face our youth and better understand how a home drug test can be used as a drug prevention tool. Our second goal is to reduce the transmission of HIV among young people by demonstrating an increased knowledge in HIV and prevention measures as well as a commitment to delay the initiation of sexual activity or reduce sexual activity. Our third goal is to increase knowledge of HIV status among youth by providing free HIV counseling, testing and referrals.
From 2008 – 2013, The DEPTH Project will serve 600 African-American youth, between the ages of 12-17, from the Acadiana region. The project will also provide the Project 7th Grade program to 400 parents / caregivers each year. Over the 5 year life of this project, SWLAHEC plans to serve 3,000 African-American youth between the ages of 12-17, and 2,000 of their parents/caregivers.
For more information contact Brian Burton at