Prevention program planners often develop interventions that focus solely on reducing problem behaviors, and funding streams for these prevention programs often limit the ability of providers to meet young people's needs holistically. In other words, HIV/STD and pregnancy prevention programs provide many young people with the sexual health knowledge, skills, and services they need; but, many youth still lack the motivation to avoid HIV, STDs, and unintended pregnancy. Youth development strategies can help provide young people with this motivation.
Youth development is especially important for young people who have little or no support from their families, schools, and communities. These hard to reach and under served youth, who frequently report high risk behavior and often lack access to health services, including homeless, drug-addicted, pregnant and parenting, GLBTQ, and very low income youth.
Committed youth-serving adults cannot afford to overlook the positive results to be derived from incorporating youth development strategies into HIV/STD and pregnancy prevention programs.