TP 44 GYT Awareness and STD Testing Behaviors Among Youth and Young Adults

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Exhibit Hall
Mary McFarlane, PhD1, Rachel Kachur, MPH2, Matthew Hogben, PhD2, Kathryn Brookmeyer, Ph.D.3, Kate Heyer, MPH4 and Allison Friedman, MS5, 1Division of STD Prevention, CDC, Atlanta, GA, 2Division of STD Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, 3Division of Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, 4National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), Washington, DC, 5Division of STD Prevention, CDC, NCHHSTP, Atlanta, GA

Background: The national GYT: Get Yourself Testedcampaign (GYT), targeting youth and young adults up to age 25, aims to: raise awareness of STDs; encourage STD testing; encourage talking with sex partners about STDs and STD testing; and encourage conversations with health care providers about STDs and STD testing.

Methods: To assess campaign awareness among youth, we sampled 4,017 respondents (aged 15-25 years) in a representative, probability-based, online survey.  Parents provided consent for legal minors (under age 18) to participate; consent rate was 53%.  Participation rate was 51% among those 18-25 years of age.  Median survey duration was 27 minutes.  The survey assessed GYT awareness; awareness of other campaigns; knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to STDs and sexual health; and behaviors related to health care-seeking for STDs.  We used chi-square to assess the statistical significance of differences between those aware of the campaign and those who remained unaware.

Results: Overall, 20% of respondents had heard of GYT, which compared very favorably with awareness of campaigns targeted toward the same audiences or related to the same behaviors.  A specific campaign image was recognized by 16.5% of the sample. The percentage of those aware of GYT (26%) who had been tested for non-HIV STDs in the past 12 months was greater than the percentage of those unaware of GYT (12.5%) who had been tested.  The same pattern appeared for testing prior to the past 12 months (17.1% of the aware group vs. 10.3% of those unaware of GYT), and for both past-year and prior HIV testing, all p<0.01.  Other target behaviors of the campaign, e.g., talking to providers and partners, were similarly and significantly related to campaign awareness.

Conclusions: Results of this survey indicate that awareness of the GYT campaign was significantly related to the behaviors that the campaign targeted for improvement.