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What do we know works? Findings from a systematic rapid review of effective programs to reduce STI in young people

What do we know works? Findings from a systematic rapid review of effective programs to reduce STI in young people

A systematic rapid review was conducted to synthesise the available evidence regarding public health interventions most effective in reducing STI in young people. The review analysed the evidence for public health intervention across different settings, intervention types, and socio-demographic groups. Young people were defined as less than 30 years of age. The review was limited to systematic reviews, meta-analyses and economic evaluations.

The level and type of evidence varied significantly. Evidence about interventions based within schools and primary care included a high proportion of experimental and quasi-experimental studies. Whereas interventions that operate at broader community wide or structural levels, where it is difficult or inappropriate to conduct in controlled experimental contexts, needed to rely on adapted or non-experimental methodologies. Also, due to the complexity of sexual health interventions operating across different health promotion levels it can be difficult to determine the relative impact of a particular intervention from the combined impact of other related interventions.

Programs were most effective in increasing protective behaviours for STIs when they: • were skills, self-efficacy and motivation based programs rather than knowledge based programs; • targeted multiple components of young people’s lives and context in which they live and addressed multiple domains across the interpersonal, social and structural level; • were explicitly based on recognised behavioural and social theories. Evidence showed that no single public health intervention had a sustained long term impact on the sexual health of young people and young adults. Overwhelmingly this pointed towards programs that target multiple aspects of young people’s lives and context and were based within broader interpersonal, social and system level behavioural theories. Specific findings will be presented for programs based within: schools; primary care; mass media; communication technology and social media programs; at-risk or minority youth; Community, Structural and multi-level programs; as well identified research gaps.

Speakers: Graham Brown

AIDS 2014

Immune Control of the HIV reservoirs

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