196507 Differences in sexually transmitted diseases among adults with and without disabilities

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 9:05 AM

Melissa Danielson, MSPH , Child Development Studies Team, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Brian S. Armour, PhD , NCBDDD/DHDD/Disability and Health Team, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Background. People with disabilities are at risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) because they: (1) are at increased risk to be victims of sexual violence; (2) are mistakenly believed to be sexually inactive and therefore are often excluded from sexual education; and, (3) mobility and sensory impairment may limit the ability of women with disabilities to identify symptoms indicating an STD such as vaginal discharge and rashes. There is a paucity of information on the prevalence of STDs among people with disabilities. We analyzed national surveillance data to quantify STD prevalence among adults with disabilities compared to those without disabilities to fill this gap.

Methods. Data from the 2003--2007 National Health Interview Surveys (NHIS) were used to estimate prevalence of STDs among adults with and without disabilities. Descriptive statistics and multivariate analyses were used to assess differences in STD infection by disability status.

Results. Adults with disabilities were more likely than those without disabilities to report STDs (4.1% vs. 1.7%; aOR=2.10; p<0.001). STD prevalence was higher for adults with disabilities than those without among women, blacks, unmarried persons and persons aged 18-24 years. Adults with hearing impairment were the disability group reporting the highest prevalence of STDs (6.1%). Conclusions. This epidemiologic evidence identifies an opportunity for federal, state, and local stakeholders to form new partnerships to better align disability and STD prevention programs and policies. Furthermore, it identifies the need for comprehensive STD prevention programs to enhance public awareness and increase resource allocation to reduce disparities in STD prevalence.

Learning Objectives:
Compare STD prevalence among people with and without disabilities using NHIS data from 2003-2007. Identify disparities in STDs by disability.

Keywords: STD, Disability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have participated in several projects describing the population of people with disabilities and I analyzed the data for this project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.