Young adults are at growing risk of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases in South Africa. This study aimed to ascertain the general prevalence of risk behavior practices among younger members of the high school community in the greater Cape Town area. Behaviors were assessed along 3 areas of risk: alcohol use, narcotic use and sexual contact. The study consisted of 475 grades 8, 9 and 10 learners attending 8 schools in vastly different socio-demographic areas within the Cape Town Area. The results indicate that youth are engaging in ever increasing numbers of risk behaviours concurrently. Particularly highlighted was the widening gap between youth awareness and actual involvement in risk behavior. Learners report being well informed regarding risk posed to them through these practices, yet despite that still report high rates of involvement in these activities. Within this lies the danger to young people in that they are not empowered to convert awareness knowledge into positive behavioral shifts.