Online Program

Effects of HIV/AIDS education on risky sexual behaviors among adolescents: Is there an impact?

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 5:14 p.m. - 5:32 p.m.

Thea Murray, Department of Epidemiology, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX
Adolescent sexual risk behavior is a very important public health outcome, as adolescents and young adults possess a disproportionate risk for developing new cases of STDs and HIV. Additionally, the teen birthrate in the United States is higher than that of any other developed country. As a solution to this problem, the CDC recommends “better health education, more comprehensive health services, and more supportive policies”. To explore the effectiveness of HIV education in reducing adolescent risk behavior, this study utilized the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) data from 1991-2011. Two risk behavior outcomes were explored – age of sexual initiation and condom use. Multiple linear regression was used to model age of sexual initiation by HIV education, accounting for age and race. According to this model, adolescents who received HIV Education were between 1.9 and 4.4 months older at age of sexual initiation than those who did not receive HIV Education. Finally, stratification was used to compute odds ratios for condom use. After adjusting for age, it was found that adolescents who received HIV education were 1.28 times more likely to use a condom than those who did not receive HIV Education. These findings reveal relatively small differences in behavior between students who receive HIV education and those who do not. Accordingly, HIV education methods must be re-examined. Most adolescents (86%) are being informed, but significant changes in behavior are not being achieved. New methods of intervention and education must be considered to effectively reduce these risk behaviors.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Assess whether current HIV education strategies are effecting among adolescents.

Keyword(s): Adolescent Health, Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: During my Masters in Public Health studies, I have completed multiple courses relating to the epidemiology and mediation of risk behaviors. Additionally, my concentration is in Biostatistics, a discipline which emphasizes objective and statistically reliable research.
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.