• 28Oct

    Video and Facebook pages help to reduce STIs in young people

    The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has published a review of brief interventions that aim to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections in young people.

    The review provides a summary of randomised controlled trials which evaluated a variety of approaches including one-to-one counselling, video presentations and online/offline packages.

    It finds that brief interventions of up to 30 mins that focus on what is normal healthy behaviour and include video or new media, may help reduce sexually transmitted infections in youth under 25.

    The rates of infections such as HIV and chlamydia fell in some examples. The uptake of testing improved and self-reported risky behaviour reduced in this review of programmes for young people. Another analysis looked at similar short counselling interventions for men who have sex with men.

    Effective interventions tended to use videos and new media such as a Facebook page where “expectations for a healthy relationship” could be discussed.

    Some interventions ran alongside one-to-one counselling.

    However the authors note that this review is based on a small number of interventions and was unable to pool the size of effects to get an average. So further detailed analysis of the 16 that were proven effective is needed before deciding what should or should not be included in future programmes to prevent these infections.

    You can read the full review on the NIHR website.