A Call to Develop Evidence-based Interventions to Reduce Sexually Transmitted Infections in Juvenile Justice Populations
- Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 27, Number 2, May 2016 Supplement
- pp. 34-44
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Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) risk, are a significant health issue for young women (ages 16–21), especially African Americans with a juvenile justice history. Studies have found that 44% of young African American women have had at least one STI compared to 24.1% for all young women. The rate of STIs among young women with juvenile justice histories, particularly African Americans, is likely much higher than their non-detained peers. Yet, there are few evidence-based interventions (EBIs) designed specifically for the detained population. In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Compendium of Evidence-Based Interventions and Best Practices for HIV Prevention listed few programs that comprehensively included components related to mental health, intimate relationships and high risk sexual behaviors that would be salient for a detained population. Further, many EBIs have had limited or no long-term protective effect. We propose that interrelated factors (mental health, substance use, trauma and intimate relationships) can effectively decrease risk and increase protective behaviors for the detained population most at risk.