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Lake Cumberland District Health Department

A healthy today for a brighter tomorrow.

Reducing the Risk (R.T.R.)

Reducing the Risk (R.T.R.) is designed to help high school students delay the initiation of sex or increase the use of protection against pregnancy and STI/STD’s and HIV if they choose to have sex.  This research-proven approach addresses skills such as risk assessment, communication, decision making, planning, refusal strategies, and delay tactics. Abstinence is presented as the safest, most effective, and most common choice for high school students, but Reducing the Risk also recognizes that some students are sexually active.

Key content covered by the program consists of:

  • Knowledge of pregnancy risk and prevention.
  • Knowledge about STI and HIV risk, prevention, transmission, treatment, and consequences.
  • Perception of individual risk for pregnancy, HIV, and other STIs and their consequences if teenagers engage in unprotected sex.
  • Knowledge of how to be abstinent or use birth control methods effectively and how to access health care information and contraception (including condoms).
  • Effective and ineffective refusal skills.
  • Social and peer norms, as well as personal attitudes about abstinence, sex, unprotected sex, condoms, and contraception.
  • Refusal and communication skills in pressure situations in order to avoid pregnancy and STIs.
  • Skills to obtain health care information and contraception from a clinic and use it.
  • Skills to communicate with parents or other adults about teen sexual activity and birth control.


Helping youth avoid unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmissible infections is a challenge that faces our communities.

Children having children is a problem with dire consequences for both the young people themselves and for society as a whole. Young people with children have sharply reduced education and employment opportunities and a poorer quality of life.

Meeting their needs places a severe burden on both families and public resources. Moreover, sexually active teens are at great risk of contracting AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

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