Assessing the effects of a sexually transmitted disease educational intervention on fraternity and sorority members’ knowledge and attitudes toward safe sex behaviors

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Background and purpose:College years are a time young adults examine high-risk sexual behaviors, increasing their risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Fraternity/sorority membership has been identified as one factor contributing to increased risky sexual behavior in college students. This study measured the effectiveness of an educational intervention targeting STD prevention in fraternity and sorority members, and examined relationships between STD knowledge, attitudes, and demographics.Methods:A descriptive, correlational design was used. Pre- and posttest data were collected from fraternity and sorority members (N = 132). Instruments measured demographic characteristics, STD knowledge, and attitudes toward safe sex behaviors.Conclusions:There was a significant increase in STD knowledge from baseline (M = 13.03, SD = 6.5) to 1 week (M = 20.27, SD = 4.9) t (131) = −13.53, p = .000. Males were more likely to report attitudes toward risky sexual behavior rs(132) = .323, p = .000, and as knowledge increased, attitudes became more favorable to safe sex behaviors (pre-STD knowledge and preintervention attitudes, r(132) = −.249, p = .004; post-STD knowledge and postintervention attitudes, rs(132) = −.307, p = .000).Implications for practice:Results support that brief STD educational interventions can increase STD knowledge. College health centers must aim to provide sexual health education to all students at every visit.

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