The findings and conclusions in these presentations have not been formally disseminated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and should not be construed to represent any agency determination or policy.

Thursday, March 13, 2008 - 9:45 AM

Impact of a Hip-Hop Radio Outreach Collaboration to Promote Chlamydia and Gonorrhea Testing among Youth in L.A. County

Harlan Rotblatt, Melina Boudov, Cheryl Mercado, Jorge A. Montoya, Aaron Plant, Christopher M. O'Leary, and Peter R. Kerndt. Sexually Transmitted Disease Program, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, 2615 S. Grand Avenue, Room 500, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Despite innovations in detecting and treating chlamydia and gonorrhea, youth ages 15-24 in Los Angeles County (LAC) continue to experience high rates of these STDs, including disproportionately high rates among youth of color.

To describe the impact of an LAC STD Program (STDP) project with a top-ranked youth radio station to promote chlamydia and gonorrhea testing among youth of color.

The project used radio spots, a website, text messaging, mass emails, and direct outreach to promote chlamydia and gonorrhea testing by youth. Flyers distributed at outreaches or downloaded from the project website could be redeemed for incentives at participating clinics. Redeemed flyers were tallied to measure project impact on testing. Other impact measures included the number of flyers distributed or downloaded, text messages received, website visits, email recipients, radio spot audience, and clinic participation.

During the project's initial 12 weeks, 195 radio spots were each heard by, on average, over 16,000 targeted youth. This same period saw 2,411 visits to the website, 91 incentive-redeemable flyer downloads, distribution of 19,340 flyers at 46 outreaches, 155 text messages received, and 4 e-mails sent to 130,000 listeners. Thirty-eight clinics participated in flyer redemptions. However, only 25 flyers were redeemed at clinics. An additional 28 individuals tested at 4 project-linked mobile testing events.

The project successfully reached target populations with STD testing messages. The project also attracted substantial clinic partnerships. However, direct impact on testing was surprisingly low. Interpretation of this result is complicated by the unforeseen availability of comparable incentives through an unrelated commercial promotion.

The project's low measure on testing impact demonstrates possible unsuitability of the redeemed flyers model to incentivize STD testing or measure program impact, especially when easier means of obtaining the same incentive are available. Nonetheless, combined media/outreach programs can effectively deliver STD testing messages to high risk youth.