Use of Digital Media Technology for Primary Prevention of STIs/HIV in Youth

December 2014 - Structural Prevention

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Chávez, N. R., Shearer, L. S., & Rosenthal, S. L. Journal of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology (October 2014), Vol. 27, Issue 5, pp. 244–257.

The authors of this literature review presented seven factors that can affect the effectiveness of digital media technology (DMT) interventions for the primary prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV in adolescents and young adults aged 11–29 years. They reviewed 29 articles that reported on the cognitive, psychosocial, behavioral, or biological outcomes of DMT interventions to prevent sexually transmitted infections and HIV. Seven issues emerged that should be addressed to improve design and evaluation of DMT-based HIV prevention interventions: (a) balancing the focus (targeting broad-based groups versus a specific sub-group), (b) developing a framework for DMT intervention, (c) applying DMT in resource-limited contexts, (d) keeping up with the rapidly changing nature of DMT, (e) building in measures of biological outcomes, (f) designing interventions with comparison and control groups to assess the impact of DMT, and (g) addressing limited temporal follow-up. The authors added that implementing DMT interventions would require availability of (or support for) infrastructure to support digital technology, and emphasized that targeting interventions to specific groups based on gender, ethnicity, or age may increase their effectiveness.

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