Preventing sexually transmitted infections among adolescents: 'the glass is half full'

Ralph J. DiClemente, Richard A. Crosby

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of review: Given the disproportionate burden of sexually transmitted infections for adolescents, there is an urgent need to identify effective prevention programs. Recent findings: This review documents the efficacy of recent sexually transmitted infection-prevention programs. Overall, the review identified few sexually transmitted infection-prevention trials published since 2000. Moreover, considerable variability in program efficacy was observed across studies. Some studies observed changes in sexually transmitted infection-associated risk behaviors, while only a few identified reductions in biologically confirmed sexually transmitted infections. In general, few programs demonstrated consistency of effects and a significant magnitude of effects across a broad range of outcomes. Summary: New and innovative approaches are needed to amplify sexually transmitted infection intervention effects. Program development and evaluation needs to continue in a coordinated, scientifically rigorous fashion to optimize impact and, as important, to sustain effects over protracted periods. Furthermore, for interventions with demonstrated efficacy, a critical challenge is to translate them into sustainable programs that are widely disseminated. Ultimately, preventing sexually transmitted infections in adolescents does not only depend on the development of effective interventions alone, but on how effectively these interventions can be translated and integrated into self-sustaining components of clinic, school or community programs, particularly in those areas and among adolescent populations most adversely impacted by the epidemic of sexually transmitted infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-43
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Adolescents
  • Epidemic
  • Prevention programs
  • Sexually transmitted infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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