Background: Residents of two zip codes in San Antonio experience some of the highest STI rates in Texas. In these zip codes, women represent approximately 67% of Chlamydia infections and nearly half of gonorrhea infections, with minorities reporting the highest rates. We implemented a community driven STI prevention program, approved by the community, adapted from RAPP, designed to address STI disparities and increase condom utilization. One component of this intervention includes delivering a culturally relevant STI/HIV prevention class to 150 residents, in the targeted zip codes, yearly.
Methods: Since August 2011, a community advisory board (CAB), composed of 36 community members, business owners and key stakeholders from the two zip codes, met monthly in an effort to identify social determinants of sexual health, prioritize healthcare disparities, and increase access to health care in the community. Residents from public housing complexes in the area were hired as Community Health Workers and trained to provide STI/HIV education classes to the target population. The classes provided STI/HIV prevention information and condom utilization skills.
Results: Community participants were administered pre/post surveys at each class to determine willingness to start using condoms with main and other sexual partners. 171 of 202 participants fit our criteria of living in the two zip codes. 74% of respondents were female, and 94% of participants were Hispanic or African-American. Age ranged between 9 and 77 years of age. There was a significant increase (27%) in the proportion of respondents willing to use condoms consistently with their main partners (X2(1) = 67.292, p=.019).
Conclusions: Our results mirror the findings of the original RAPP intervention, which found an increase in consistent condom use by women with their main sexual partners. Through the partnership of the CAB, the community continues to make advances in addressing the health disparities that they face.