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Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

Personal Responsibility Education Program

Federal Guidance

The purpose of the federally funded Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) is to:

  • Educate youth on both abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV/AIDS
  • Educate adolescents on at least three adulthood preparation subjects and life skills
  • Replicate evidence-based effective program models
  • Target youth populations that are the most high-risk or vulnerable for pregnancies

Statutory Authority: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, Title V, Section 513


Iowa's Personal Responsibility Education Program provides sexuality education to adolescents that is medically accurate, culturally and age-appropriate, and evidence-based and informed. PREP is implemented in Iowa with the goal of assisting youth to reduce their risk of unintended pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). In addition to education on abstinence and contraceptive use, PREP also addresses other topics to prepare young people for a successful adulthood. Adult preparation subjects include healthy relationships, adolescent development, healthy life skills, parent-child communication, financial literacy, and educational and career success.

State PREP Vision

Iowa youth are empowered to make healthy choices and positive decisions regarding sexual behavior as they prepare for successful adulthood.

Iowa's PREP will focus on the following priority populations:

  • Youth ages 10-19 who are residing in areas of the state with the highest teen birth rates

IDPH is the administrator of Iowa's PREP funding and awards contracts to community-based organizations and agencies to deliver PREP programming. Local contractors deliver programs in multiple high risk counties in Iowa. IDPH underwent a rigorous prioritization process that looked at a number of indicators related to teen pregnancy to determine which counties would be targeted to receive programming. Agencies then proposed to deliver PREP, through a competitive selection process, in the identified high risk counties.

Iowa’s overarching goals of the PREP are to:

Goal 1: Delay the onset of sexual activity and reduce the rate of pregnancy, birth and STIs, including HIV/AIDS, to high risk, vulnerable and sexually active youth (ages 10-19) in high risk communities across Iowa.

Goal 2: Empower Iowa youth to make healthy decisions and positive choices regarding sexual behavior as they prepare for successful adulthood.

Goal 3: Increase prevention capacity and infrastructure at the state and community levels to deliver and sustain effective evidence-based services.

PREP contractors implement one of two evidence-based and evidence-informed teen pregnancy prevention programs to youth in their area based on community need and input.

Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program® (TOP) promotes the positive development of adolescents through curriculum-guided, interactive group discussions; positive adult guidance and support; and community service learning. The TOP curriculum is focused on key topics related to adolescent health and development, including building social, emotional, and life skills; developing a positive sense of self; and connecting with others.

The Wise Guys program, developed by Children’s Home Society of North Carolina, engages teens in an interactive, participatory process that examines their values and goals for the future, and provides them with the basis to make healthy choices in their relationships.

Since programming began in 2012, more than 2,500 youth have attended at least one PREP session. PREP programming is currently being delivered in nine Iowa counties while striving to have a positive impact on youth.


For more information contact

Tina Palmer

Community Health Consultant

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