JMIR public health and surveillance 2017 12 133(4) e96 doi 10.2196/publichealth.7129
HIV/sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and drug abuse remain significant public health concerns in the United States, and African American and Hispanic youth are disproportionately affected. Although technology-based interventions are efficacious in preventing and reducing HIV/STI and licit/illicit drug use behaviors, relatively little is known regarding the state of the science of these interventions among African American and Hispanic youth.
The aim of this review is to identify and examine randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of technology-based HIV/STI and/or drug abuse preventive interventions for African American and Hispanic youth.
We searched electronic databases (ie, PubMed, Proquest, PsycINFO, Ebscohost, Google Scholar) to identify studies between January 2006 and October 2016. RCTs of technology-based interventions targeting African American and Hispanic youth HIV/STI risk behaviors, including sexual risk, licit and illicit drug use, and HIV/STI testing were included.
Our search revealed a total of three studies that used an RCT design and included samples comprised of >50% African American and/or Hispanic youth. The follow-up assessments ranged from two weeks to six months and the number of participants in each trial ranged from 72 to 141. The three interventions were theory-driven, interactive, and tailored. The long-term effects of the interventions were mixed, and outcomes included reductions in sex partners, licit drug use, and condomless anal sex acts.
Although technology-based interventions seem promising in the prevention of HIV/STI and drug abuse among African American and Hispanic youth, more research is needed.