Skip to main content

IknowUshould2: Feasibility of a Youth-Driven Social Media Campaign to Promote STI and HIV Testing Among Adolescents in Philadelphia

Abstract

A youth-driven, social media-based campaign aimed at improving knowledge about and increasing testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)/HIV among youth 13–17 years old was assessed by: tracking website/social media use throughout the campaign; online survey of knowledge of and attitudes towards STI testing 9 months after campaign launch; and comparing rates of STI testing at affiliated family planning clinics during the 1 year period immediately prior versus 1 year immediately after campaign launch. Over 1,500 youth were reached via social media. Survey results showed 46 % of youth had never been tested, but 70 % intended to test in the next 6 months. While the total number of GC/CT tests conducted and positive results were not significantly different pre- and post-campaign, there was a large increase in the proportion of visits at which Syphilis (5.4 vs. 18.8 %; p < 0.01) and HIV (5.4 vs. 19.0 %; p < 0.01) testing was conducted post-campaign launch. Future campaigns should incorporate lessons learned about engaging younger adolescents, social media strategies, and specific barriers to testing in this age group.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

References

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV amoung youth. In: Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, editor. National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. Atlanta; 2011. p. 2. http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/youth/pdf/youth.pdf.

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually transmitted disease surveillance, 2009. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2010.

    Google Scholar 

  3. AIDS Activities Coordinating Office. Surveillance Report: HIV/AIDS in Philadelphia. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Department of Public Health; 2012.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Philadelphia Department of Public Health. Philadelphia youth in crisis: adolescents and sexually transmitted infections. Philadelphia: Philadelphia Department of Public Health; 2011.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Balaji AB, Eaton DK, Voetsch AC, Wiegand RE, Miller KS, Doshi SR. Association between HIV-related risk behaviors and HIV testing among high school students in the United States, 2009. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2012;166(4):331–6 [Comparative Study; Multicenter Study].

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Madden M, Lenhart A, Duggan M, Cortesi S, Gasser U. Teens and Technology: Pew Research Center; The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. 2013. http://www.pewinternet.org/2013/03/13/teens-and-technology-2013/.

  7. Guse K, Levine D, Martins S, Lira A, Gaarde J, Westmorland W, et al. Interventions using new digital media to improve adolescent sexual health: a systematic review. J Adolesc Health. 2012;51(6):535–43.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Friedman AL, Brookmeyer KA, Kachur RE, Ford J, Hogben M, Habel MA, et al. An assessment of the GYT: get yourself tested campaign: an integrated approach to sexually transmitted disease prevention communication. Sex Transm Dis. 2014;41(3):151–7.

    PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Fishbein M, Yzer MC. Using theory to design effective health behavior interventions. Commun Theor. 2003;13(2):164–83.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Harris PA, Taylor R, Thielke R, Payne J, Gonzalez N, Conde JG. Research electronic data capture (REDCap)–a metadata-driven methodology and workflow process for providing translational research informatics support. J Biomed Inform. 2009;42(2):377–81 [Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural].

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Adolescent Initiative, PolicyLab, Public Relations and Marketing Department, and the Office of Government Affairs, Community Relations and Advocacy staff for their support of this study. Specifically, we would like to thank Peter Grollman, Sarah Gibbons, and Joel Fein. We would also like to dedicate this manuscript to Christine Ambrose who was key to the success of this campaign and so many other programs that have and continue to reach marginalized youth. This work was also supported by NIH K23MH102128 (Dowshen) and the University of Pennsylvania CFAR developmental award (Dowshen), an NIH-funded program (P30AI045008).

Disclosure

None.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Nadia Dowshen.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Dowshen, N., Lee, S., Matty Lehman, B. et al. IknowUshould2: Feasibility of a Youth-Driven Social Media Campaign to Promote STI and HIV Testing Among Adolescents in Philadelphia. AIDS Behav 19, 106–111 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-014-0991-9

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-014-0991-9

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STI)
  • Social media
  • Mobile health