Online Program

Risks for sexually-transmitted diseases: Racial -gender health inequities and socio-economic factors

Monday, November 4, 2013

Kenneth Cruz-Dillard, MHS, Youth Outreach Adolescent Community Awareness Program, Inc. (YOACAP), Philadelphia, PA
This study investigated the risks for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among a sample of 100 African American and White self-identified heterosexuals equally stratified by race and gender living in a racially diverse section of Philadelphia, PA. The primary aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that major factors influencing STD risks were more related to socio-economic status (SES) such as income levels, housing stability, educational attainment, and incarceration rates rather than race or gender. Data from this study supported the association that individuals with lower levels of SES, regardless of race or gender, demonstrated a distinctive sexual partner selection pattern of behaviors that increased their risks for STDs. The preference for a dissortative versus an assortative sexual partner selection pattern was more indicative of STD risks. Individuals with lower SES demonstrated a dissortative pattern in comparison to those with moderate or higher SES levels who displayed an assortative partner selection pattern. Using a mixed methods research design, the study results supported the hypothesis that lower SES was statistically significant to higher levels of risks based on the subjects' individual display of dissortative partner selection patterns in relationship to their self-report of STD risks ( r = - .25, p< .05). Implications of this study are that strategies for STD interventions, treatment, and related services need to focus more on addressing the socio-economic inequities that tend to put more African Americans and other minorities at higher risks for STDs than White Americans.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Describe the two distinct sexual partner selection patterns that impact one's risk for transmitting and/or acquiring an STD. List five socioeconomic factors that influence STD risks. Differentiate how the two sexual partner selection patterns are related to race/ethnicity and gender. Identify at least three sexual health & reproductive outcomes that reflect racial-gender health inequities.

Keyword(s): Community Capacity, Sexual Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a co-principal investigator on the CDC- funded project on which the poster presentation is based. I have a well-established history and background working with community-based groups, academia, and health departments in the field of STD/HIV treatment and prevention. My scientific interests are health disparities, public health ethics & equity, and psychological aspects of HIV/STD 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.