Sexually Transmitted Diseases  

cajunpet 71M
828 posts
5/16/2005 2:26 am

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

~~~~~~~ Welcome to Sexual Health and Sex Guide. ~~~~~~~

In a study of sexually active black and Hispanic teenage girls,
researchers found that a "skills-based" safer sex program offered
at an adolescent health clinic helped cut the rate of sexually
transmitted diseases (STDs) among girls who participated.

The program, given as a single 4-hour class, provided girls
with information on HIV and other STDs, and on how to reduce
their risk of infection. It also gave them practical training;
girls practiced correct condom use on an anatomical model, and
they role-played to practice "negotiating" condom use with their partners.

In the long term, the study found, the program was more effective in
cutting risky sexual behavior and STD rates than two other approaches
that gave girls information only.

Dr. John B. Jemmott III of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia
led the study, which is published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

The study included 682 sexually active African American and Latina teenage girls who
attended an inner-city Philadelphia adolescent health clinic. The girls were randomly
assigned to participate in either the skills-based STD-prevention class, or one of
two comparison classes: an information-based class on STDs, or a class on general health.

Over the next year, the girls were periodically surveyed about their sexual behavior
and screened for gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis.

At the start of the study, more than half of the girls said they'd had unprotected
sex during the previous 3 months, and 22 percent tested positive for one of the three STDs.

One year later, girls in the skills-based program were less likely than their peers to
have an STD; about 10 percent tested positive, versus 18 percent in the general-health
program and 15 percent in the STD-information program.

They also reported fewer instances of unprotected sex than girls in either of the other
groups, and were less likely to say they'd had multiple sexual partners in the past 3 months.

There were, however, no clear differences between the groups at an earlier time point, 3
and 6 months after the classes. The apparent "delayed effect" of the skills-based program,
Jemmott and his colleagues note, may indicate that it's hard for girls to start safer-sex
practices in their existing relationships. Instead, they may be better able to use what
they've learned at the beginning of a new relationship.

Though past studies have found that teenagers in STD-prevention programs report
changes in their sexual behavior afterward, this study -- by actually screening
for STDs -- helps confirm that the changes are real, according to the researchers.

"HIV/STD interventions for adolescents can, indeed, influence a health outcome,
not only self-reported behavior," they write.

And if the current findings are an indication, programs that focus on practical
skills -- by "empowering" teenagers to protect themselves from STDs -- may be
especially effective, according to the researchers.

"This is particularly important for African American and Latino adolescents,"
they write, "whose rate of STDs is considerably higher than the rate among other adolescents."

Please leave you comments. Thank you.

Have a great day.

cajunpet 71M
1185 posts
5/25/2005 10:42 pm

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