Online Program

Differential predictors of Sexual Transmitted Diseases (STDs) testing in male and female young adults aged 20 to 24 years: Evidence from a national study

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Ruth Gassman, PhD, School of Public Health, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana Prevention Resource Center, Bloomington, IN
Nayoung Kim, MA, Department of Applied Health Science Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, IN
Background. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) testing is a crucial component to primary, secondary, and tertiary communicable disease prevention. While the prevalence of STDs in young adults in the U.S. has dramatically increased over the past decades, there are dangerously low rates of 20 to 24 year olds tested for STDs.

Purpose. The purpose of this study was to investigate gender disparities in the prevalence of STD testing and examine the differential predictors, including demographics, behavioral and psychological factors, of STD testing for male and female young adults aged 20 to 24 years.

Methods. Data were analyzed from Wave III of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) Restricted-Use Data (n=10454). Multivariate logistic regression models separately were performed for males and females, taking account for complex stratifies cluster sampling design and weights with SAS 9.4.

Results. The prevalence of STD testing for males and females is 17.7% (n=862) and 34.5% (n=1921), respectively. For both males and females, being black and having multiple sex partners and having STDs in the past year increased the odds of STD testing (ps <.05). Depression is significantly associated with STD testing in males only while binge drinking and ever using marijuana are related to STD testing in females only (ps <.05).    

Conclusion. Psychological factors are important for STD testing in males while alcohol and substance use behaviors are crucial for STD testing in females. Gender-specific approaches should be considered in the design of future strategies that promote STD testing in young adults.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the gender disparities in the prevalence of STD testing in young adults aged 20-24 in the United States. Identify differential predictors that influence STD testing for male and female young adults. Discuss potential strategies for promoting STD testing in young adults.

Keyword(s): Sexual Risk Behavior, STDs/STI

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the research associate for multilevel health promotion programs focusing on healthy behaviors among adolescents and been published several manuscripts (formative and evaluated studies) regarding addictive/risky behaviors in peer reviewed journals. My research is focused on policy and socio-ecology in sexual risk behaviors and substance abuses.
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.