Background: Perceived barriers and risks influencing STD testing in young adults in Boise, Idaho remains undefined. Young adults were surveyed in seven settings, with the goal of better understanding knowledge, attitudes and perceptions about STD testing in order to enhance STD prevention and diagnosis efforts in this population.
Methods: A face-to-face survey was conducted containing 29 Likert-scale questions focused on knowledge, attitudes and perceptions toward STD prevention and diagnosis. Data was analyzed using SAS chi-square analysis with a 0.05 p value level of significance.
Results: Nearly 300 individuals completed the survey. There were 144 females and 139 males. Median age of participants was 20. Twice as many males stated they would not know where to get tested for STDs, compared to females (32% vs. 18%). More females 'reported likely to test' (RLT) if engaged in unprotected oral intercourse (46% vs. 35%), if their partner had a STD (94% vs. 85%), if they had intercourse with more than one person at a time (81% vs. 70%), or had intercourse while intoxicated (69% vs. 60%). Trending towards significance, more males RLT after engaging in unprotected or anal intercourse (41% vs. 32% p value 0.06). Over one-third of total respondents (37%) RLT if their roommate had a STD; 26% reported less likely to test if they had a new partner; and 30% reported less likely to test after having unprotected sex. Overall, 32% of respondents stated not knowing where to get tested, and 50% reported cost as a barrier.
Conclusions: Results stratified by gender showed more females than males, overall, would seek testing in the same sexual risk circumstances. Respondents 17 years and younger were less likely to seek testing under the majority of circumstances. Findings of this study suggest that increased education for STD prevention and diagnosis is needed for young adults living in Boise, Idaho.