"something we'd rather not talk about": findings from CDC exploratory research on sexually transmitted disease communication with girls and women.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of STD Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.
Journal of Women's Health (Impact Factor: 2.05). 10/2010; 19(10):1823-31. DOI: 10.1089/jwh.2010.1961
Source: PubMed


Chlamydia is a leading cause of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can lead to ectopic pregnancy, chronic pelvic pain, and infertility. Annual Chlamydia screening is recommended for all sexually active women aged ≤ 25 years, yet only about 40% of eligible women are screened each year in the United States. To promote Chlamydia screening for the prevention of infertility, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is developing direct-to-consumer efforts for sexually active young women and key influencers. To inform this effort, CDC sought to explore girls'/women's understandings of sexually transmitted disease (STD) and Chlamydia testing and STD communications and information sources.
Two waves of one-on-one interviews (n = 125) were conducted in 10 metropolitan areas with African American, Caucasian, and Latina females, aged 15-25 years.
Most participants were not knowledgeable about Chlamydia or its screening; their discussions about it suggested low levels of perceived susceptibility or relevance to Chlamydia and screening. STDs are rarely discussed in home or social settings or with partners or close friends; yet young women may turn to interpersonal sources if concerned about an STD. Providers are the primary and preferred source of STD information for girls and women, although missed opportunities for engaging young women in STD/sexual health discussions were identified in clinical and other settings.
Providers, family members, friends, and partners may serve as important intermediaries for reaching young women and encouraging STD/Chlamydia screening. Resources are identified that could be leveraged and/or developed to facilitate such interactions.

1 Follower
15 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Sexually transmitted disease (STD) testing is fundamental to STD prevention and control. We sought to comprehensively examine young women's beliefs about the STD testing process. Descriptive, cross-sectional, survey investigation. Women aged 18-24 (n = 302) drawn from four women's health clinics and one university classroom. Participants completed the RoTEST, which measures five domains of women's STD testing beliefs and a demographic survey. Many women believed they would be screened for all STDs when they receive STD testing (40%) and that visual inspection by a provider was a valid method of STD screening for gonorrhea (35%), chlamydia (32%) and HSV (77%). More than a quarter believed that a Pap test screens for gonorrhea (23%) and chlamydia (26%). Twenty-one percent reported that discussing STD testing with a provider is difficult and most reported feeling more comfortable seeking STD testing from an STD specialist rather than a family doctor (79%). Young women have numerous misconceptions about the STD testing process that may interfere with the validity of their self-reported STD testing history and subsequently undermine public health efforts to improve STD prevention and control. Innovative approaches to educating women about the testing process are needed.
    Public Health Nursing 03/2013; 30(2):117-27. DOI:10.1111/phn.12013 · 0.83 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Youth in the United States bear a disproportionate burden of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Stigma, misconceptions, and access challenges keep many from getting tested or treated. The GYT: Get Yourself Tested campaign was launched in 2009 to reduce stigma and promote STD communication and testing. This evaluation sought to assess the first 2 years of campaign engagement and associations with STD testing among youth. Campaign engagement with select GYT on-the-ground events, social media sites, and STD testing locator tools was measured through process/media tracking metrics. Sexually transmitted disease testing patterns were assessed using data from Planned Parenthood affiliates (2008-2010) and national trend data from clinics participating in national infertility prevention activities (2003-2010). On-the-ground events reached an estimated 20,000 youth in 2009 and 52,000 youth in 2010. Across 2009 to 2010, GYT's Facebook page gained 4477 fans, Twitter feed gained 1994 followers, and more than 140,000 referrals were made to the STD testing locator. From April 2008 to 2010, there was a 71% increase in STD testing and a 41% increase in chlamydia testing at reporting Planned Parenthood affiliates (representing ∼118 health centers). Chlamydia case positivity rates during this period were stable at 6.6% (2008) and 7.3% (2010). Trend data indicate that testing was higher in spring 2009 and 2010 compared with other periods during those years; this pattern is commensurate with STD Awareness Month/GYT activities. Data quality is limited in a manner similar to many STD prevention efforts. Within these limitations, evidence suggests that GYT reaches youth and is associated with increased STD testing.
    Sexually transmitted diseases 03/2014; 41(3):151-7. DOI:10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000100 · 2.84 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objectives To describe young women's reasons to seek and not to seek sexually transmitted infection (STI) screening; to explore whether reasons differed by age and STI screening history.Design and SampleCross-sectional, descriptive. Female students (N = 216) at a university in the Midwestern United States.MeasuresAn anonymous online survey was designed based on the Theory of Care Seeking Behavior and literature regarding STI screening among young women.ResultsThe most common reason to seek STI screening was to start treatment promptly (85%); the most common reason not to seek screening was being asymptomatic (54%). Participants' reasons differed by age and screening history. Women under 25 were more likely than women 25 and older to seek screening because of encouragement from female role models (p < .01). Women who had never been screened were more likely than women who had been screened to avoid screening because of embarrassment (p < .05). Novel findings included seeking STI screening because it “should be done” if sexually active and because of encouragement from female role models.Conclusions Health care and public health professionals can use these findings to develop strategies to improve STI screening rates among young women.
    Public Health Nursing 04/2014; 31(5). DOI:10.1111/phn.12125 · 0.83 Impact Factor
Show more