HIV/AIDS Education


Preventing and Treating HIV with American Indian Youth (Project PaTHwAY) is a Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) Prevention Program funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMSHA). The project combines education and awareness, social marketing, training and technical assistance, as well as provision of testing kits to Tribal health programs, to help prevent and treat HIV, viral hepatitis, and substance abuse.

The goal of the program is to prevent and reduce transmission of new HIV and viral hepatitis infections, and reduce the risk of developing substance abuse issues and sexual risk factors among Tribal youth ages 13-24.

Set to run through 2020, the program partners with Tribal health program staff and community members to improve the promotion of HIV and viral hepatitis services, in ways that are consistent with cultural traditions.


  • K’ima:w Medical Center
  • Northstate Women’s Health Network
  • Sierra Native Alliance
  • Toiyabe Indian Health Project, Inc.
  • Tule River Indian Health Center, Inc.
  • Warner Mountain Indian Health Program

Program Objectives

IDENTIFY at-risk populations ages 13-24 who are vulnerable to substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, and viral hepatitis problems and disparities, via a needs assessment at the local level.

DEVELOP a data driven comprehensive strategic plan specific for each site.

BUILD and improve the technical capacity of participating sites to implement community driven, culturally appropriate prevention programs for HIV, viral hepatitis, and substance abuse.

IMPLEMENT evidenced-based prevention intervention strategies to address HIV, viral hepatitis, and substance abuse among American Indian youth and young adults.

ASSESS the performance of Project PaTHwAY to determine program efficacy.


The focus of Project PaTHwAY is creating systems-level changes to build and strengthen the capacity of California Indian Tribes and Tribal health programs to implement effective practices and policies to prevent and reduce the onset of substance abuse, reduce sexual risk factors to prevent new HIV and viral hepatitis infection, and decrease HIV transmission among American Indians youth.

Project PaTHwAY is currently being implemented in six Tribal communities in California. Sites are required to utilize Community PROMISE (People Reaching Out and Modeling Intervention Strategies), an effective community-level sexually transmitted infection and HIV prevention intervention, that relies on role model stories and peer advocates. The end goal of Community PROMISE is to move the community from one stage of change (according to the Transtheoretical Model) to another regarding a certain risk-reducing behavior (i.e. medical adherence, being retained in care, or using condoms).

Several role model stories have been developed by the 6 sites over the past 3 years; varying modalities have been utilized including print, video, and social media.

Toiyabe Indian Health Project, Inc. worked with a media consultant team to create a video; the role model shares a personal and thought provoking story about viral hepatitis and the positive behavior changes that can result. Please click the link to view the video:

Sierra Native Alliance developed a Tumblr page to share multiple role model stories that address condom use, monogamy, HIV education, and abstinence. Please click the link to view the Tumblr page:


For information on HIV/AIDS, including information specific to the American Indian population, please visit the following sites:


  • National Native American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day: March 19, 2020
  • National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day: April 10, 2020
  • National HIV Testing Day: June 27, 2020
  • World AIDS Day: December 1, 2020

For more information, please contact:

Adriana Kimbriel
Project Coordinator
916-929-9761, ext. 1521