Know the Risks: An Interactive HIV/AIDS Information and Personal Risk Assessment Center
Investigators: Diana Dull Akers & Tamara Kuhn

With funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, Sociometrics has developed Know the Risks, a computer-based sexual health and HIV/AIDS prevention education application, created in both English and culturally-tailored Spanish language formats. Know the Risks was designed to help support four HIV prevention goals:

  • To empower patients/clinic clients in diverse clinic settings to take a pro-active interest in learning about HIV/AIDS prevention and other sexual health topics;
  • To encourage more discussion of these topics between health providers and the patients/clients they serve;
  • To facilitate increased levels of HIV/AIDS risk screening and testing (referred services or direct) by health providers; and
  • To support the work of HIV/AIDS prevention professionals by providing an innovative tool for helping them to accomplish their objectives.

Know the Risks was primarily designed for use in waiting rooms or other common areas of diverse clinic settings. These include doctor’s offices, hospitals, community-based health clinics, college health centers, and HIV/AIDS counseling and testing centers.  However, because Know the Risks is a client-directed, stand-alone tool, any setting that supports sexual health education goals (e.g., community centers, residential communities, medical libraries, etc.) may find this application of interest. 

Know the Risks Features:KTR Main Interface

When a user first sits down at a Know the Risks computer station, they will see the Know the Risks main screen. This welcome screen has been designed to:

  • Sensitively represent the subject matter of the application
  • Demonstrate that the information will be of interest to women and men of diverse ages (18 and older only), racial/ethnic origins and sexual orientations
  • Provide users with a simple navigational feature for selecting either the English language or culturally tailored Spanish language format
  • Invite users to watch an introductory tutorial (optional), complete an HIV/AIDS risk survey/create a risk profile, and/or explore the HIV/AIDS Prevention Learning Center

After the User has selected their language format of choice (English/Spanish), they are free to choose either of the application’s two main features: 1) an HIV/AIDS risk survey; 2) the HIV/AIDS Prevention Learning Center.


FEATURE 1: HIV Risk Screening Survey: Know the Risks offers users a voluntary, confidential HIV risk screening survey. The 16-question survey takes 3-5 minutes to complete and includes 4 demographic quSurvey Interfaceestions, 2 attitudinal questions about sexual risk, and 10 HIV risk behavior questions. The computer-assisted-survey-interface (CASI) design ensures the survey is simple for those with minimal computer skills. The survey progresses automatically after each answer is selected. Audio and help options are offered.           

After completing the survey, users will see a printable Custom Risk Profile on the screen. The two-page profile includes one page for the user, and one page that can be given to the client’s health provider (optional). The profile includes a 0-10 risk score with feedback, plus a list of recommended Learning Center activities based on the client’s survey answers. The profile also includes statements describing the limits of the information provided, and encouraging users to discuss any questions or concerns they may have with their health provider.


FEATURE 2: Know the Risks Learning Center:  The multimedia Learning Center offers users interactive educational activities on a variety of sexual health and HIV risk reduction topics. Activities range in length from 1-15 minutes (length of activities depends on user pacing and, in many activities, how many topics/features users opt to view). Activities are offered in engaging multimedia formats (videos, games, select-a-topic activities, etc.) that include audio narration.

Learning Center Activities - Spanish language format. In creating Know the Risks/Spanish, our goal was to culturally tailor the learning activities in meaningful ways for diverse Latino audiences. To accomplish this goal, we worked with Latino consultants and health professionals with expertise in the area of Latinos and HIV. Know the Risks/Spanish offers seven core learning activities. Three key cultural tailoring decisions were made and integrated into the final application.

  • Adapt the English language activities by incorporating images, music, voices, art and stories that reflect diverse Latino populations.
  • Scale back the total number of activities and focus, instead, on a smaller number of core activities that impart key prevention messages.
  • Integrate characters and narrative storylines to help illustrate key messages, emphasizing the importance of HIV prevention efforts for maintaining healthy relationships and families.

This product is available by individual and institutional subscription only. To purchase an institutional subscription, please contact or 650-949-3282 for information on pricing and availability for your organization.

Know the Risks Individual Subscription
This subscription provides access for an individual user to Know the Risks for one year.
Price: $100.00
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