Sexual Health news - Sexual Health and Behavior

Behavioral interventions shown to have positive, long-term effects

It's often been said that a key to preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), such as AIDS/HIV, is education. In a meta-analysis, researchers at the Miriam Hospital's Centers for Behavioral and Preventative Medicine and the University of Connecticut found that behavioral interventions can make a significant impact on the rates of safer sex and lowering the prevalence of HIV.

Authors of the study reviewed 42 studies on educational initiatives meant to spread the news about safer sex, condom use and healthy behavioral changes.

"The association between behavioral and biological outcomes is complex, since transmission of STIs depends on a number of factors, including partner type, characteristics and perceptions of partner safety," said Lead author Lori A. J. Scott-Sheldon, Ph.D. "Examining both outcomes, and factors associated with sexual risk behaviors, should be important in determining the efficacy of behavioral interventions."

The researchers said that, on average, behavioral interventions were effective at promoting condom use and reducing the rates of STD infection for four years after the educational sessions. These findings may have significance for individuals in high-risk regions, as well as for school administrators.