The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3146.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - 10:45 AM

Abstract #55421

Assessing the American publicís knowledge and attitudes about the reduction of sexually transmitted diseases in youth ages 15-24

Joan R. Cates, MPH, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 416 Nottingham Dr., Chapel Hill, NC 27517, 919-843-5793, joancates@unc.edu

Background: Two thirds of new sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) occur in youth ages 15-24. Most STDs are undetected and undiagnosed. Risk reduction strategies include educating youth about condom use and testing for STDs in schools. Public opinion surveys can help assess the public's knowledge and attitudes about these strategies. Objective: Assess the public's knowledge and attitudes about the reduction of STDs in youth ages 15-24. Methods: Random digit-dialed surveys were conducted with likely voters in North Carolina (n = 625), Colorado (n = 631), and Ohio (n = 805) in 2002. The surveys asked respondents to estimate the percent of STDs in youth 15-24, percent of STDs undetected and undiagnosed, if STD testing should be available in schools, if correct and consistent condom use prevents most STDs, and if youth should be taught to use condoms consistently and correctly. The survey assessed age, gender, race, party ID, parent of minor child, region, and in Ohio, religion, and education. Results: Respondents underestimated the incidence of STDs in youth, supported STD testing in schools, believed that condom use prevents most STDs, and supported teaching youth about condom use. Statistically significant differences in knowledge and attitudes were found for some demographic variables. Conclusions: This 3-state sample indicates that the public underestimates the scope of STDs in youth yet believes that condoms prevent most STDs and supports condom education and STD testing in the schools. Demographic differences suggest further education of the public is needed. Learning Objective: Identify public's knowledge and attitudes about STDs in youth.

Learning Objectives:

Related Web page: www.wtgrantfoundation.org/grant_profile3079/grant_profile_show.htm?doc_id=83153

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
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.

Handout (.ppt format, 99.5 kb)

STI/HIV Prevention: The view from Reproductive Health

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA