226580 Sexually transmitted diseases: An evaluation of the attitudes, behaviors, beliefs, and knowledge about STD's among HBCU graduate students

Monday, November 8, 2010

Patricia Rodney, PhD MPH , Morehouse School of Medicine, Dept of Community Health and Preventive Medicine, Consortium of African American Public Health Programs (CAAPHP), Atlanta, GA
Reinetta Thompson Waldrop, FACHE, MSHS , Morehouse School of Medicine, Department of Community Health and Preventive Medicine, Consortium of African American Public Health Programs (CAAPHP), Atlanta, GA
William Moore, MPH , ICF Macro International, Atlanta, GA
Ayana Johnson , Master of Public Health Program, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA
Although studies indicate that the rate of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) among African American men and women aged 20-24 years is increasing, there is a paucity of research and literature that examine sexual behaviors, attitudes and beliefs, and STD knowledge of students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU's). Despite public health efforts to raise awareness of sexually transmitted diseases, there continues to be a gap in knowledge and in the dissemination of information related to STD prevention on college campuses. The Consortium of African American Public Health Programs (CAAPHP) funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted research at four HBCU's with medical schools and public health programs to measure the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of graduate students. Faculty representatives and graduate research assistants (GRA's) at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, Howard University, Meharry Medical College, and Morehouse School of Medicine conducted research on their campuses over a seven month period. Survey questionnaires which assessed participant's knowledge about sexually transmitted diseases, transmission modes, prevention methods, and treatment were administered by GRA's to 548 MD and MPH students. Results indicated that although approximately 50% of students worry about contracting an STD, (1) they continue to engage in sexual behaviors that place them at risk for contracting STD's, (2) they fail to seek prevention information / services from student health centers, and (3) they have a false impression about transmission and treatment of STD's. Research results and implications for poor health outcomes will be explored.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the behaviors of graduate students that lead to a risk for contracting sexually transmitted diseases. 2. Identify the knowledge gaps around STD transmission, prevention, and treatment. 3. Analyze the increasing rate of sexually transmitted disease among African-American men and women aged 20-24 years and explore the implication of study results.

Keywords: African American, Sexual Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Assistant Dean for Public Health Education and direct the Master of Public Health Program and currently serve as the Chair of the Consortium of African American Public Health Programs.
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.