Telehealth Innovative Solution to Engage Young Adults in STDs Prevention

STDs are a leading source of morbidity in the United States, costing an estimated $15.9 billion in direct medical costs over a lifetime (Llata et al., 2021). Studies also reveal that the annual cases of STDs in the USA continue to rise, reaching an all-time high for the eighth year. The most common reported STDs are chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea. There was a nearly 30% increase in STDs between 2015 and 2019 (Gebrezgi et al., 2021). These rates are alarming, considering that the rates were lower less than 20 years ago. For example, gonorrhea was at historic lows, and syphilis was close to elimination (Trepka et al., 2021). The drastic changes show a need to prioritize efforts and regain control of the grounds to minimize the spread of STDs. As per the CDC (2019), STD surveillance, assuring that everyone has access to high-quality HIV and STD prevention and treatment, is a critical component of successful public health response to rising STD prevalence.

Collaborating with a clinic for the prevention and treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), I had the opportunity to speak with relevant stakeholders and decision-makers. We were able to identify and discuss issues affecting the clinical health outcomes of STDs preventative and treatment activities. According to the stakeholders, it is common to find that some young adults with high-risk sexual behavior come to the clinic for STDs test and treatment. After that, they don’t return for continued care until they have new symptoms or an STD reinfection. Although sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) impact people of all ages, it is most noticeable among youth aged 15 to 24 (Sieving et al., 2019). Young adults are less interested in STDs prevention or behavior modification initiatives. Also, you can find other patients that start HIV PrEP medication but don’t come to the clinic for follow-up as indicated, despite the multiple efforts done by the clinical personnel.

After the discussion, I proposed that the clinic use innovative, evidence-based digital interventions to engage patients in STDs prevention and treatment while promoting community awareness. In the United States, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are rising, and additional research into effective prevention and treatment strategies is urgently needed (Shannon & Klausner 2018). Telehealth can serve as a tool that increases the availability of services for patients. Telemedicine has emerged as a critical resource for limiting disease spread by increasing patient surveillance, promoting early detection, allowing quick management of sick people, and ensuring continuity of care for vulnerable patients worldwide (Omboni et al., 2022).

It’s a tool that facilitates the work of directly promoting education, screening, treatment, and prevention for susceptible populations, like young people with high-risk sexual behavior. Sexually transmitted infections are significant public health concerns.

Recent CDC reports show that the rate of new STDs infections continues to be high; 4 of the 25 cities that top the list of infection rates are in Florida; Miami spiked upward and is currently ranked among the top 25 towns mostly affected (Butame et al., 2021).


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