Accelerated Campaign to Enhance STD Services (ACCESS) for Youth: Successes, Challenges, and Lessons Learned

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Abstract

Background and Objectives:

Adolescents have the highest sexually transmitted disease (STD) incidence and are often hard to reach with preventive services. Fourteen youth-focused projects were funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1994 through 1995 to pilot innovative, locally relevant, locally acceptable approaches; expand the range and accessibility of services beyond clinic-based facilities; and stimulate increased commitment of local resources.

Design:

Review and synthesis of 14 youth-focused, innovative projects.

Results:

Most projects undertook multiple interventions (11/14) in multiple venues (9/14). The majority (9/14) incorporated behavioral interventions, and half offered clinical services in nontraditional settings such as detention facilities, schools, parks, and parking lots. Six projects used peer volunteers; four worked with community coalitions. Most (12/14) obtained local resources. Where assessed, parental support was strong for providing STD prevention services.

Conclusions:

These projects increased the access and range of services available to a substantial number of high-risk youth with high STD rates. However, sustaining and scaling-up pilot project activities will be resource intensive. Increased financial and training support to augment evaluation capacity will be critical for innovation to become an integral part of STD prevention programs.

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