ABSTRACT: We hypothesise that text-messaging and financial incentives would increase tertiary student participation in chlamydia screening.
A cross-sectional study was conducted over two phases on eight tertiary campuses during 2007. During Phase 1 (6 months) study activities were advertised through student organisations and media. Education and screening were offered during a range of student activities. During Phase 2 (4 days) education and screening were offered via text messages. Non-financial incentives were offered during Phase 1 and a $10 cash incentive was offered during Phase 2. Rates of specimens provided by students and the direct costs incurred during each phase were compared.
2786 students attended the 31 activities conducted in Phase 1. Of these, 627 students (22.5%) provided urine specimens for chlamydia testing. During Phase 2, the dissemination of 866 text messages resulted in urine specimens from 392 students (45.3%). Costs per test were AUD $175.11 in Phase 1 and AUD $27.13 in Phase 2.
Compared with more labour intensive (and therefore more expensive) screening activities conducted over a 6-month period, offering a small financial incentive to tertiary students through text messaging over a 4-day period significantly increased participation in on-campus chlamydia screening. This model could readily be applied to other populations to increase participation in chlamydia screening.
Sexual Health 03/2010; 7(1):60-5. · 1.45 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Men who have sex with men, sex workers, youth and university students are at increased risk for sexually transmissible infections (STI) and blood-borne viruses (BBV) and are therefore targets for sexual health services. In recognition of this, a collaborative project offering sexual health care in various outreach settings frequented by these groups was developed.
Data collected by clinicians during consultations in five outreach venues (a sex-on-premises venue, a community AIDS organisation, a university campus, brothels and a youth centre) between 2002 and 2005 were analysed.
During 119 clinics (~547 clinician hours), 313 individuals (205 males and 108 females) received education and/or testing. Of those screened, 6.0% (15/249) were positive for chlamydia and 12.7% (9/71) tested positive for hepatitis C (HCV) antibodies. No new cases of hepatitis B (HBV) or HIV were identified and 37.2% (71/191) of patients reported never having been previously tested for HIV. Seroprevalence of hepatitis A and HBV antibodies were 53.8% (91/169) and 52.1% (135/259), respectively. More than half of all four groups reported inconsistent use of condoms and 8.6% reported intravenous drug use.
Collaborations between agencies to provide outreach services facilitate community-based sexual health education and screening for groups at higher risk of STI and BBV. The database audit showed that through these outreach services cases of chlamydia and HCV that may have remained undetected were identified. The results also highlight the need for continuing hepatitis vaccination, testing, health promotion and education in these populations.
Sexual Health 10/2007; 4(3):201-4. · 1.45 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: A strong association between persistent infection with oncogenic types of human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer is well established. Small numbers of international studies examining adolescent HPV infection and the risk factors associated are published, but there is currently no evidence on the prevalence and risk factors for HPV in an Australian, sexually active female adolescent population.
To provide prevalence and risk factors for HPV in a female sexually active, senior high school population in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), a convenience sample of 161, 16-19-year-old females attending a senior high school was evaluated. The sample formed part of a larger sample recruited for a study of sexually transmitted infections and blood-borne viruses in senior high school students. A clinical record was used to collect information about sexual and other risk behaviours, while self-collected vaginal swabs were tested for HPV DNA detection and genotyping using polymerase chain reaction.
The prevalence of HPV DNA in this sample overall was 11.2%, with multiple genotypes in 38%. No statistically significant associations were found between HPV DNA and the number of male partners, age of coitarche, time since first sexually active, condom use, smoking or alcohol intake.
This is the first Australian study that has examined the prevalence and risk factors for genital HPV in this demographic group. The prevalence of HPV infection is slightly lower than reported in similar age groups overseas and is lower than other Australian studies in older women and those attending sexual health centres. Of HPV-positive young women, high-risk genotypes were found in over half, with more than one-third of HPV existing as multiple genotypes. Large community-based prevalence studies are needed to guide the development of recommendations for the vaccination of young women against HPV and to support other health promotion initiatives.
Sexual Health 06/2006; 3(2):91-4. · 1.45 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: To determine the feasibility and acceptability of screening for sexually transmitted infections and blood-borne viruses and to study the profile of sexual activity and other risk behaviours in a senior high school population.
In this descriptive study we provided sexual health education and screening to students from two senior high schools in the Australian Capital Territory. We collected behavioural data using a self-administered questionnaire. Urines and swabs were tested for Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct), Neisseria gonorrhoea (Ng), Trichomonas vaginalis (Tv) and human papilloma virus (HPV). Blood specimens were tested for hepatitis B and C, HIV, herpes simplex viruses (HSV-1 and HSV-2) and syphilis.
A total of 795 students participated (31% of the enrolled population; female to male ratio 60:40) and 67.0% were sexually active. Of 795 students, 644 (81.0%) were screened. Rates of infection were Ct 1.1% (95% CI: 0.4-2.6), HPV 11.7% (95% CI: 7.4-17.3), HSV-1 32.5% (95% CI: 28.9-36.3), HSV-2 2.4% (95% CI: 1.3-3.9), hepatitis B surface antigen 0.3% (95% CI: 0.04-1.1) and hepatitis C antibodies 0.7% (95% CI: 0.07-1.6). Only 22.3% (95% CI: 19.3-25.7) of students had immunity to hepatitis B. There were no cases of HIV, gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis or syphilis. Of the sexually active students, 49.2% (95% CI: 38.9-59.2%) reported never or only sometimes using condoms, 41.5% (95% CI: 32.2-52.3%) reported unsafe drinking, 33.3% (95% CI: 23.9-43.1%) were smokers and 1.9% (95% CI: 0.2-7.0%) reported injecting drug use.
Rates of STI and blood-borne viruses and immunity to hepatitis B were low in this population, but unsafe sex and other risk behaviours were common. We have demonstrated that STI screening, including serological testing, was well accepted in a senior high school population.
Sexual Health 02/2005; 2(4):229-36. · 1.45 Impact Factor