Project Overview +

This project involves developing a frank, unembarrassed, factual guide to sexually transmitted disease (STD) prevention specifically designed for teens. The program is one of the 12 channels developed for the Michigan Interactive Health Kiosk Demonstration Project.

Aims +

Aim 1. Develop a health channel for the kiosk that focuses on teen STD prevention.

Aim 2. Add the channel to all of the kiosks through the state of Michigan.

Participants +

Residents throughout the State of Michigan.

Intervention +

Developed as part of the Michigan Interactive Health Kiosk Demonstration Project, this kiosk channel is for teenagers as a frank, unembarrassed, factual guide. It includes:

  • Descriptions, symptoms, prevalence and methods of spreading for a wide range of STDs.
  • STD facts and myths.
  • Information on testing.
  • An interactive assessment that gives teens information about their personal risk.

Following descriptions of protection strategies, video vignettes among teens model will offer advice and model safe sex discussions with partners.

Findings +

An efficacy study was completed for the STD channel with 221 tenth graders in a southeastern Michigan school. Four weeks after half the students either viewed the channel while the other half did not view it, all students completed a survey. Findings include:

  • The program was most effective for adolescents who were abstinent. The channel reinforced their intentions to remain abstinent and made them more likely (than adolescents who did not view the channel) to still be abstinent four weeks later.
  • Students who viewed the channel had increased knowledge of STDs.
  • Perceptions of STD risk increased more dramatically among those who viewed the channel than control group participants.
  • The reported likelihood of using abstinence as a way to protect themselves from STDs increased more dramatically among those who viewed the channel than those who did not view the channel.
  • The likelihood of discussing abstinence with a partner before becoming sexually intimate also increased more among those who viewed the channel than those who did not view the channel.
  • The percentage of participants practicing abstinence as a form of birth control increased more significantly among the intervention group, when compared to the control group.
  • Almost 90% of the participants that viewed the channel said that the style of the channel was effective. In addition, 93% thought their friends would understand the information in the channel.

Conclusion +

While the STD Prevention Channel covers information on reducing one's risk of contracting an STD, as well as methods of being 100% safe (using abstinence), it is heartening to know that the channel has its greatest impact on those teens who have not yet become sexually active.

The efficacy study bolsters the belief that the STD prevention channel is a powerful intervention among junior high and high school populations. The Channel can delay sexual activity and convey information in a manner that is both appealing to its target audience and in concert with the recommendations of the Michigan Department of Community Health and the abstinence-focused curricula of the Michigan Department of Education.

The STD Prevention Channel: Tips for Teens

01/01/1997 - 09/30/1998

Sponsor(s)

Michigan Department of Community Health

Principal Investigator:

Victor J. Strecher, PhD, MPH