Concept: United Nations Population Fund
National-level data are limited regarding confidentiality-related issues and the use of sexually transmitted disease (STD) services for adolescents and young adults. Changes in the U.S. health care system have permitted dependent children to remain on a parent’s health insurance plan until the child’s 26th birthday and required coverage of certain preventive services, including some STD services, without cost sharing for most plans (1,2). Although these provisions likely facilitate access to the health care system, adolescents and young adults might not seek care or might delay seeking care for certain services because of concerns about confidentiality, including fears that their parents might find out (3,4). Therefore, it is important to examine STD services and confidentiality-related issues among persons aged 15-25 years in the United States. CDC analyzed data from the 2013-2015 National Survey of Family Growth and found that 12.7% of sexually experienced youths (adolescents aged 15-17 years and those young adults aged 18-25 years who were on a parent’s insurance plan) would not seek sexual and reproductive health care because of concerns that their parents might find out. Particularly concerned were persons aged 15-17 years (22.6%). Females with confidentiality concerns regarding seeking sexual and reproductive health care reported a lower prevalence of receipt of chlamydia screening (17.1%) than did females who did not cite such concerns (38.7%). More adolescents aged 15-17 years who spent time alone with a health care provider (without a parent in the room) reported receipt of a sexual risk assessment (71.1%) and, among females, chlamydia testing (34.0%), than did those who did not spend time alone (36.6% and 14.9%, respectively). The results indicated that confidentiality-related issues were associated with less reported use of some STD services, especially for younger persons and females. Spending time alone with a provider (i.e., without a parent present) during a health care visit has been associated previously with higher reported delivery of sexual health services (5) and has been suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics and Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (6). Public health efforts related to confidentiality of STD services might be helpful to increase the use of recommended services among some youths.
Seeking sexual health information online is common, and provision of mobile medical applications (apps) for STIs is increasing. Young people, inherently at higher risk of STIs, are avid users of technology, and apps could be appealing sources of information. We undertook a comprehensive review of content and accuracy of apps for people seeking information about STIs.
Population-based estimates of prevalence, risk distribution, and intervention uptake inform delivery of control programmes for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We undertook the third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal-3) after implementation of national sexual health strategies, and describe the epidemiology of four STIs in Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales) and the uptake of interventions.
Adolescent males who have sex with males (AMSM) are at increased risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Healthcare providers are a critical source of HIV/STI prevention, yet little is known about AMSM patient-provider sexual health communications and services. To explore this issue, we surveyed a national sample of 198 AMSM 14-17 years. Four online psychometrically validated scales indicated over half the youth avoided communicating their sexual orientation and sexual health concerns to providers due to fear of heterosexist bias, concern their sexual health information would be disclosed to parents, and a general belief that sexual minority youth do not receive equitable treatment in health care settings. Youth who reported their physicians had initiated discussion about their sexual orientation were significantly more likely to have received HIV/STI preventive services and testing. Discussion includes the importance of medical training that meets the unique sexual health needs of AMSM.
Research on alcohol and sexual behaviour has focused on young adults or high-risk groups, showing alcohol use contributing to riskier sexual choices. Adults now in their late thirties have been exposed to heavier drinking norms than previously, raising questions about effects on sexual wellbeing. We examined self-reported use and consequences of alcohol in sexual contexts, and its association with usual drinking pattern at age 38, and also associations of heavy drinking occasion (HDO) frequency with number of sexual partners, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and terminations of pregnancy (TOPs), from 26-32 and 32-38 years of age.
Latina/o Americans are at high risk for sexually transmitted infections and adolescent pregnancies. Needed urgently are innovative health promotion approaches that are engaging and culturally sensitive. East Los High is a transmedia edutainment program aimed at young Latina/o Americans. It embeds educational messages in entertainment narratives across digital platforms to promote sexual and reproductive health. We employed online analytics tracking (2013-2014), an online viewer survey (2013), and a laboratory experiment (El Paso, TX, 2014) for season 1 program evaluation. We found that East Los High had a wide audience reach, strong viewer engagement, and a positive cognitive, emotional, and social impact on sexual and reproductive health communication and education. Culturally sensitive transmedia edutainment programs are a promising health promotion strategy for minority populations and warrant further investigation. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print April 14, 2016: e1-e9. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2016.303072).
While female sex workers (FSWs) are assumed to be at increased risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), there are limited comparative data with other population groups available. Using routine STI surveillance data, we investigated differences in sexual health between FSWs and other female attendees at genitourinary medicine (GUM) clinics in England.
Sexual health is an integral part of overall health across the lifespan. In order to address sexual health issues, such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and sexual functioning, the sexual history of adult patients should be incorporated as a routine part of the medical history throughout life. Physicians and health-care professionals cite many barriers to attending to and assessing the sexual health needs of older adult patients, underscoring the importance of additional research to improve sexual history taking among older patients.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and bacterial vaginosis (BV) are associated with increased transmission of HIV, and poor reproductive and sexual health. The burden of STIs/BV among young people is unknown in many high HIV prevalence settings. We conducted an acceptability, feasibility, and prevalence study of home-based sampling for STIs/BV among young men and women aged 15-24 years old in a health and demographic surveillance site (HDSS) in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Control of sexually transmitted infections (STI) is a global public health priority. Despite the UK’s free, confidential sexual health clinical services, those at greatest risk of STIs, including young people, report barriers to use. These include: embarrassment regarding face-to-face consultations; the time-commitment needed to attend clinic; privacy concerns (e.g. being seen attending clinic); and issues related to confidentiality. A smartphone-enabled STI self-testing device, linked with online clinical care pathways for treatment, partner notification, and disease surveillance, is being developed by the eSTI(2) consortium. It is intended to benefit public health, and could do so by increasing testing among populations which underutilise existing services and/or by enabling rapid provision of effective treatment. We explored its acceptability among potential users.