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Substance Use, Mental Health, and HIV/AIDS Risk Assessment and Testing

About Us

SMART Cougars: Substance Use, Mental Health, and HIV/AIDS Risk Assessment and Testing (Dr. Luis R. Torres, PI) is a partnership between The University of Houston and Houston Area Community Services, Inc (HACS). HACS is a Federally Qualified Healthcare Center since 2009 and has been providing HIV/AIDS services since 1998 when it started as an AIDS Service Organization.

SMART Cougars prevents and reduces substance abuse and transmission of HIV/AIDS among Hispanic/Latino and African American college students ages 18-24 at the University of Houston, as well as the communities surrounding the university. SMART Cougars offers UH students ages 18 - 24 the knowledge and skills needed to live a healthy life on campus and in their communities, by increasing their knowledge and decreasing their risks for HIV/AIDS and substance use disorders. We also extend our activities into the communities surrounding the UH campus, in collaboration with local CBOs, targeting minority young adults who may not be UH students but are also in need of prevention services.

SMART Cougars conducted a comprehensive needs assessment of the campus and surrounding communities; expands capacity to address substance abuse and HIV prevention needs; develops and executes a data-driven comprehensive strategic plan; implements an array of evidence-based practices, including VOICES/VOCES (a video-based HIV/STD prevention program for African-American and Hispanic adult men and women), and Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (a comprehensive, integrated, public health approach to delivering early intervention and treatment services for individuals at risk of developing substance use disorders and those who already have a substance-related disorders). SMART Cougars significantly expands HIV/AIDS and substance abuse prevention efforts on campus and surrounding communities.  

Contact 713.743.1273 to learn more or email us at uhsmartcougars@uh.edu