Niigata Prefecture

Providing sexual and reproductive health education (AIDS/STD Prevention) through a community- and needs-based approach led by health centers

Basic Information

  • Guidelines for sexual and reproductive health education (public materials)
    • Undisclosed to the public.
  • Outline of the intervention
    • Health centers organize lectures on AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in educational institutions as an AIDS countermeasure promotion project, which is one part of disease countermeasures.


  • The project has been carried out for more than 20 years. It seems to be initiated or promoted as an HIV/AIDS education project for adolescents, as indicated in the “Stop HIV/AIDS project by health centers” document published by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) in 1993, although the specific details of the project’s beginnings are now unknown.

Overview of activities

As “sexual behavior” relates to both AIDS/STD prevention and the prevention of unwanted pregnancies, this project is implemented through coordination with the Maternal & Child Health Division.

■ Lectures on STDs (hereafter referred to as the “lectures”)

  • Students from public and private elementary schools, junior high schools, high schools, special needs schools, universities and technical schools. Target schools and grades are selected by each health center
  • 9,730 students from 44 schools participated in FY2016
  • Each health center selects a lecturer according to the characteristics of the community. Normally the lecture is offered by local obstetricians/gynecologists, midwives, or staff from health centers
  • Costs are managed by the “Specific Disease Prevention Project (HIV/AIDS Project)” of the Prefecture’s Health Initiatives Division (Infection Control Office). The allocation of the budget is decided upon following the annual submission of implementation plans by the 12 health centers in the prefecture. These forms contain information on dates, venues, participants, lecturers, and lecture content
  • Once a year at each school
  • Health centers decide on lecture content according to the issues and needs in the community
  • The Health Initiatives Division reviews lecture content through the reports shared by health centers at the end of the fiscal year
  • The state of the initiatives carried out by each health center is shared at the Health Center Disease Infection Control Office Conference

Strengths of the Initiative

  • Health center initiatives and ownership
    • Local health centers, which work closely with their communities, lead the planning and implementation of community-based projects, and are therefore able to develop content specific to the needs in each community.
  • Cost sharing by two projects
    • As sexual behavior is a common issue for not only the AIDS countermeasure promotion projects of the Health Initiatives Division Infection Control Office, but also the health support projects of the Maternal & Child Health Division, the framework of this project allows for joint planning and implementation.

Current Issues of the Initiative

  • Securing the availability of lecturers
    • There is a critical shortage of doctors, especially obstetricians, in Niigata prefecture, making it challenging to secure human resources for the project. Lectures are therefore sometimes offered by a public health nurse from health centers. Lecturers are selected strategically by health centers, to provide an opportunity for networking between the residents and local obstetricians/midwives.

Direction for Future Development

  • Continuity of the project
    • The prefectural Government will continue advocating for the project in order to secure the necessary budget and to enable health centers to maintain their active and unique interventions.

Expectations for other stakeholders

  • Government (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare)
    • Secure a budget for AIDS countermeasures promotion projects.
  • Schools
    • Flexible actions to respond to the needs and reality of the students, including the provision of lessons by external lecturers in order to offer content beyond the official guidelines.


  • Prefectural Government
    • Health Initiatives Division, Welfare and Health Department, Niigata Prefecture


Interview date: December 2017

Health Center Activities: