Online Program

Preliminary outcomes of the young women's coop on sexual risk behaviors

Monday, November 4, 2013

Wendee M. Wechsberg, PhD, MS, Substance Use, Gender, and Applied Research Program, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC
Tracy Kline, PhD, Stat Epi, RTI International, Durham, NC
Irene Doherty, Ph.D. MPH, Substance Abuse Treatment Evaluations and Intervention Research Program, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC
Stephanie Lane, RTI International/University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Research Triangle Park, NC
Background: The Young Women's CoOp is a five-year study adapting the Women's CoOp, an evidence-based HIV prevention intervention. This analysis evaluates its efficacy among sexually active African-American young women (ages 16-19), who have dropped out of school in North Carolina. Methods: The Women's Intervention involved building skills for HIV/STI prevention, drug use reduction, and sexual communication with partners, whereas the control group received a nutrition intervention. 206 young African American women (ages 16-19) completed baseline and six-month follow-up assessments that included face-to- face and self-administered surveys and biologically tested for alcohol and other drugs. We assessed reductions in high risk behaviors from baseline to follow-up data using descriptive repeated-measures methods. Results: 26% had been homeless; 30% had children and the prevalence of STIs (Chlamydia 23.5% & Gonorrhea 10%) was high of those who tested (n = 81). Significant behavioral changes identified in the Women's Intervention that were not observed in the nutrition group include reduction in the average number of female oral sex acts (p = 0.011) and increase in protected male oral sex acts in the past 30 days. Conclusion: Young African-American women who have unprotected sex and abuse drugs are at risk for STI and HIV transmission through drug and sexual behaviors. However, enrollment in the Women's intervention assists in reducing these risky behaviors by teaching the young women the skills needed to reduce harm and protect themselves.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control

Learning Objectives:
Describe the prevalence of risk behaviors among at-risk African-American female adolescents. Describe what risk behaviors can be reduced after a young women’s intervention and relative to an attention control group.

Keyword(s): Women's Health, Sexual Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator for numerous NIH grants focusing on HIV prevention, and the reduction of alcohol and other drug (AOD) use, sexual risk behaviors, and gender based violence. Among my scientific interests has been the empowerment of women to be in control of their own sexual health by increasing their power to negotiate condom use and reduce AOD-related risk behaviors.
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.