The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has issued a new draft guidelines for behavioral counseling interventions to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among adults and youths, including in-person counseling, educational videos and even text messages, MedPage Today reports.
This new draft recommendation is an update of a similar one from five years ago and is supported by new evidence and strategies for combating the fast-increasing STI epidemic.
Both the previous and the updated recommendations received a B rating, meaning they represented a moderate net benefit.
The new recommendation is based on a pooled analysis of 19 studies of people at significant risk for STIs. Ten of these trials included people who were at the highest risk. Between them, these trials found that the interventions assessed reduced the risk of contracting STIs by 30%.
Interventions based on group counseling tended to have a greater impact on STI risk, as did those with a longer duration, meaning more than 120 minutes.
One study tested a 23-minute video-based intervention that taught about HIV and STI risk and how couples can communicate about a recent STI diagnosis. The video also stressed positive attitudes toward condoms, including by teaching individuals how to obtain and negotiate about and use them with partners. During an average 15 months of follow-up, those who received the intervention had a 9% lower risk of STIs.
Even an intervention that simply sent young people a series of emails with links to STI information and motivational content was associated with a lower rate of condomless intercourse.
To read the MedPage Today article, click here.
To read the draft statement, click here.