3059.0: Monday, November 13, 2000 - Board 5

Abstract #14452

Invisible men: Addressing the critical need to improve reproductive health care for male youth

Harlan Rotblatt, Melina R. Boudov, MA, Roger Ramirez, Diane M. Brown, MPH, and Rose T. Wang, MPH. Los Angeles County Department of Health Services Sexually Transmitted Disease Program, 2615 So. Grand Avenue, Room 500, Los Angeles, CA 90007, (213) 744-5903, hrotblat@co.la.ca.us

Critical gaps exist in reproductive health services for young men, particularly concerning STDs. This problem is reflected in imbalances in STD reporting: males accounted for only 18% of nearly 16,000 reported chlamydia cases among 10-to-24 year-olds in 1998 in Los Angeles County. The focus of traditional reproductive health services on women has contributed to the lack of care for males, creating in turn a persistent reservoir of undetected male cases. These undetected cases increase the likelihood of both female reinfection, and sequelae in males.

Urine-based nucleic acid amplification tests offer new opportunities for large-scale, non-clinic-based STD screening for males; yet these opportunities remain largely unexplored. Barriers include lack of male services offered by traditional reproductive health agencies, lack of STD awareness among agencies working with young men, and failure by policy makers to incorporate male STD screening into reproductive health funding streams.

To address this issue, the L.A. County STD Program held a County-wide Summit in September 1999; representatives from 43 agencies participated. The Summit led to the creation of an ongoing Working Group on Young Men and Reproductive Health, which has attracted a broad cross-section of public and private agencies.

The presentation will discuss specific Working Group strategies to meet male reproductive health needs, including education of managed care organizations, traditional family planning clinics, and other health providers; trainings to foster STD urine screening by community agencies; resources to facilitate access both to services and funding streams; promotion of positive perceptions of young men; and policy advocacy.

Learning Objectives: Learning Objectives On completion of this session, participants will be able to: 1) Define reproductive health services for males. 2) Identify three ways in which the current delivery of reproductive health services typically excludes males. 3) Describe how urine-based nucleic amplification testing can be used to provide large-scale non-clinic-based STD screening for males, and the major advantages and disadvantages of this approach over alternatives. 4) Identify one or more strategies for improving male access to reproductive health services which are potentially applicable to the participant's locality or state

Keywords: Male Reproductive Health, Community Collaboration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA