Minority Female College Students' STD and HIV Knowledge
Messmer, Patricia R.
MetadataShow full item record
Session presented on Thursday, July 21, 2016 and Friday, July 22, 2016: Background: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that youth ages 13-24 make up just over one quarter of the sexually active population, but account for half of the 20 million new sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that occur annually in the United States. While both men and women are affected by STDs, untreated or undiagnosed STDs cause an estimated 24,000 women a year to become infertile. The presence of a STD increases HIV exposure risk 2-5 times. In 2010 adolescents and young adults accounted for an estimated 26% of all new HIV infections in the United States in 2010. Young minority women have been impacted by both STDs and HIV. The purpose of this study is to assess the knowledge and awareness of 1) signs and symptoms, treatment, and vaccinations for STDs, and 2) HIV transmission and prevention among female college students ages 18-24 in South Florida. This study is part of a larger study through the Minority-Serving Institutions HIV and Substance Abuse Prevention initiative, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Method: After IRB approval was received, female college students were recruited March - August, 2014, from two sites, a minority-serving urban state university and a minority-serving urban state college in South Florida. Inclusion criteria for participants included: female ages 18-24, enrolled as a student, and able to speak and read English. After giving verbal consent, the participants completed a self-administered survey. The survey packet included a demographic sheet, the 27-item STD Knowledge Questionnaire (STD-KQ) (Jaworski & Carey, 2007), and the 18-item HIV Knowledge Questionnaire (HIV-KQ-18) (Carey & Schroder, 2002). Results: The sample included 399 students. Ages ranged from 18-54, with over 2/3 of the sample between the ages of 18-24. Participants race and ethnicity included: Hispanic 216 (54.1%), and Blacks 120 (30.1%) (African-America, Afro-Caribbean, African, and Black Other). For the HIV Knowledge Test, the mean score for this sample was 14.16 (SD 3.51) (scores can range from 0 to 18). For the STD Knowledge Test, the mean score for this sample was only 17.43 (SD 6.51) (scores can range from 0 to 27). Conclusion/Implications: Young minority women have been impacted by STDs and HIV. Assessment of their STD/HIV knowledge and education needs will assist practitioners and educators in developing age-appropriate interventions, which will help decrease new cases of infections in this vulnerable population.