The current study comprises a review of intervention programs that aim to reduce the burden of HIV and other STIs among young people in Australia.
After identifying articles from seven databases, the team reviewed intervention studies set in Australia and involving persons ages 12 to 25. They then developed a two-dimensional matrix consisting of "setting" and "intervention type" to categorize each study.
Most of the 42 studies that met the inclusion criteria were uncontrolled intervention studies. Twenty-three of the studies measured participation in chlamydia ± other STI testing; the highest participation rates were found in non-clinical and non-general practice health care settings. Four studies facilitated access to testing indirectly through the Internet or other media. Ten involved the provision of education and measured its impact on factors such as knowledge, attitudes and/or behavior. Three involved novel immunization strategies for either hepatitis B vaccine or human papillomavirus vaccine. Two studies assessed the impact of enhanced STI surveillance programs on STI prevalence rates.
"Proactive STI testing in non-clinical and some health care settings appears feasible and achieves higher testing rates than in general practice; however, more evaluation of testing strategies in general practice settings is required," the authors concluded. "New technologies such as the Internet and [Short Message Service] are useful adjuncts for influencing behaviors such as condom use and STI testing. Media campaigns that promote STI testing can have a positive impact on testing rates."
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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