256781 Risky business: Empowering adolescents to take responsibility for their sexual health

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 4:30 PM - 4:45 PM

Julia Dickman, BS, MPH , School of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Shana Summerhays, BS, BA, MPH , School of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Emmanuela Jeune, BS , School of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Lesley Rollakanti, BS , School of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
La'Shaun McClinton, MPH , School of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Elizabeth Holzhauser, MPH, DrPH , School of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Patti Herring, PhD, RN , School of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
In the US, many adolescents engage in risky sexual behaviors such as having unprotected sex, multiple sexual partners, and engaging in sexual activities while under the influence of drugs and alcohol, resulting in adverse health outcomes such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV/AIDS, and unwanted pregnancies. Half of all new cases of STIs and HIV occur among adolescents ages 15-24; a portion of whom have had four or more sexual partners. In light of this, a needs and asset assessment (NA+A) was conducted for the Provisional Accelerated Learning (PAL) Center located in Muscoy, CA in San Bernardino, County. Data were collected through windshield surveys, literature reviews, site observations, 10 theory-based semi-structured interviews, and a confirmatory focus group. Data were coded, themed and analyzed using Grounded Theory methods. Emerging themes revealed a lack of support and knowledge about healthy sexual practices and risks of STIs, HIV, and unplanned pregnancies; inconsistent use of condoms and birth control methods; and drug and alcohol use prior to engaging in sexual intercourse. Specific program requests included field trips to health facilities, documentaries, illustrative slides of STIs and AIDS cases, role-playing exercises, pamphlets with accurate statistics, securing reliable contraceptives, and guest speakers who have experiences with STIs and AIDS. We then developed, implemented and evaluated a pilot program at the PAL Center using process and impact evaluation for program improvement. Results will be discussed in light of program sustainability.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Identify three contributing factors for risky sexual behavior among adolescents and young adults. 2. Identify at least three common factors that adolescents and young adults share that may directly affect their risky sexual behaviors. 3. Describe how one would apply the programís lessons learned to their own communities.

Keywords: Adolescents, Sexual Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a graduate student, I have a specific interest in health promotion and education, particularly in adolescent sexual health. I plan to work and do research in this area after graduation.
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.