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Social networking site interventions: risky sexual behavior

Health Factors: Sexual Activity
Decision Makers: Nonprofit Leaders Public Health Professionals & Advocates
Evidence Rating: Expert Opinion
Population Reach: 50-99% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: No impact on disparities likely

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Description

Social networking site interventions use social networks such as Facebook and MySpace as a platform to deliver health education. Such interventions may provide information on one social networking site exclusively or be part of a broader online campaign that uses websites and multiple social networks.

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Increased HIV and STI knowledge
Reduced risky sexual behavior
Increased condom use
Increased STI testing

Evidence of Effectiveness

Social networking site interventions are a suggested strategy to increase knowledge about HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and decrease risky sexual behaviors among adolescents (CDC-Kachur 2013). Available evidence indicates that interventions on social networking sites successfully reach target audiences (Nguyen 2013, Pedrana 2013). Such interventions may also decrease risky online behaviors (Guse 2012), increase condom use by adolescents in the short-term (Bull 2012), and increase home-based HIV testing among men who have sex with men (Young 2013). However, additional evidence is needed to confirm effects (Gold 2011). 

Implementation

United States

Social networking sites are increasingly used for promotion of sexual health interventions (Gold 2011). The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy (National Campaign) and GYT: Get Yourself Tested (GYT), for example, use websites, Facebook, and Twitter as part of multi-media campaigns aimed at adolescents and young adults (CDC-Kachur 2013).

Implementation Resources

CDC-Kachur 2013 - Kachur R, Mesnick J, Liddon N, et al. Adolescents, technology and reducing risk for HIV, STDs and pregnancy. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); 2013. Accessed on December 8, 2015

Citations - Evidence

Bull 2012 - Bull SS, Levine DK, Black SR, Schmiege SJ, Santelli J. Social media-delivered sexual health intervention: A cluster randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2012;43(5):467–74. Accessed on December 1, 2015
CDC-Kachur 2013 - Kachur R, Mesnick J, Liddon N, et al. Adolescents, technology and reducing risk for HIV, STDs and pregnancy. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); 2013. Accessed on December 8, 2015
Gold 2011 - Gold J, Pedrana AE, Sacks-Davis R, et al. A systematic examination of the use of online social networking sites for sexual health promotion. BMC Public Health. 2011;11:583. Accessed on February 24, 2016
Guse 2012* - Guse K, Levine D, Martins S, et al. Interventions using new digital media to improve adolescent sexual health: A systematic review. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2012;51(6):535–43. Accessed on November 23, 2015
Nguyen 2013* - Nguyen P, Gold J, Pedrana A, et al. Sexual health promotion on social networking sites: A process evaluation of the FaceSpace project. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2013;53(1):98–104. Accessed on November 24, 2015
Pedrana 2013 - Pedrana A, Hellard M, Gold J, et al. Queer as f**k: Reaching and engaging gay men in sexual health promotion through social networking sites. Journal of Medical Internet Research. 2013;15(2):e25. Accessed on November 23, 2015
Young 2013* - Young SD, Cumberland WG, Lee S-J, et al. Social networking technologies as an emerging tool for HIV prevention: A cluster randomized trial. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2014;159(5):318–24. Accessed on November 23, 2015

Citations - Implementation

CDC-Kachur 2013 - Kachur R, Mesnick J, Liddon N, et al. Adolescents, technology and reducing risk for HIV, STDs and pregnancy. Atlanta: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); 2013. Accessed on December 8, 2015
Gold 2011 - Gold J, Pedrana AE, Sacks-Davis R, et al. A systematic examination of the use of online social networking sites for sexual health promotion. BMC Public Health. 2011;11:583. Accessed on February 24, 2016
GYT - Get Yourself Tested (GYT). Know yourself, know your status. Accessed on November 24, 2015
National Campaign - National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Responsible behavior. Responsible policies. Accessed on November 24, 2015

Page Last Updated

March 15, 2014

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