Traditional Sexually Transmitted Disease Prevention and Control Strategies: Tailoring for African American Communities

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Abstract

African Americans carry the largest disease burden for bacterial sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the United States. These infections can have a devastating impact on sexual and reproductive health if they are not diagnosed and treated. Traditionally, public health efforts to prevent and control bacterial STDs have been through surveillance, clinical services, partner management, and behavioral intervention strategies. However, the persistence of disparities in STDs indicates that these strategies are not achieving sufficient impact in African American communities. It may be that factors such as limited access, acceptability, appropriateness, and affordability of services reduce the efficacy of these strategies for African American communities. In this article we describe the STD prevention strategies and highlight the challenges and implications of these strategies in addressing disparities in African American communities.

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