MP2 Cellphones, the Internet, and Other Electronic Communication: Opportunities and Challenges for STD Prevention

Tuesday, March 9, 2010: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
International Ballroom E/F (M2) (Omni Hotel)
Public health programs today can no longer ignore the pervasive presence of electronic communication in society. In the world of STD prevention, this reality presents both opportunities and challenges in reaching our most at-risk populations, especially teenagers. Use of the internet and mobile devices dominate teen and young adult culture serving as their primary modes of communication. Information flows more quickly than ever before resulting in potentially helpful but also potentially harmful effects.

This session will present recent data collected by one of the premier research institutions in the US, the Pew Research Center, on the forms and use of electronic communication, including how social networking sites and mobile devices are being used. Trends in texting and sexting among young people will be discussed. With this foundation, two examples of how these technologies are being adapted to reach and educate young people about sex and STD prevention will be featured. These talks will be followed by a discussion about the implications for this societal norm on STD prevention practice.

1:30 PM
The State of Electronic Communication in at-Risk Populations: Implications for STD Prevention
Amanda Lenhart, MA, Pew Research Center, Pew Internet & American Life Project, Washington, DC
1:55 PM
Mobile Devices: Texting for Sex Education
Sally Swanson, MSW, MSPH, Birds and Bees, Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign of North Carolina, Durham, NC
2:25 PM
Implications for STD Prevention
Cornelis Rietmeijer, MD, PhD, STD Control Program, Denver Public Health Department, Denver, CO
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