Awareness and Prevention of Sexually Transmitted Diseases

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Kim Schafer Astroth

Mentor Department



Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are any diseases that are transmitted through sexual contact. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2017), STDs are on the rise; there are approximately 20 million new STDs diagnosed yearly. Young women continue to be the most impacted, having almost half of the reported diagnosed infections in the 15 to 24 age group (CDC, 2017). STD rates in Peoria County have increased steadily throughout the last ten years, ranking in the top 5 counties of Illinois. For our project we focused on inner city Peoria. Zip codes 61603, 61604, and 61605, have been the most affected by this STD epidemic. Our overall goal was to provide people in this area with the proper education and awareness on STDs. We reached this group through a barber shop in the community. These barbers have contacts in the community that may not be in the traditional service catchment of public health education. Pender's Health Promotion Model was our guide for the development of our presentation. We presented our project to 6 barbers and 6 customers. Our goal was to empower them with awareness, education, and prevention measures. We provided a pre-test and post-test to the participants. We found that the scores were higher on the post-test than the pre-test. Pre-test scores had a mean of 75.3% and a range of 43-100%. Post-test scores had a mean of 97.7% and a range of 84-100%. The mean average increased by 22.4%. Providing education in a non-traditional setting breaks down a barrier and allows for more open conversation. By presenting at this barber shop, located in the heart of the epidemic, we were able to provide education to those who could serve as a role model. Non-traditional avenues will have the best outcomes in this population.


Hinckley-graduate, Perez-graduate

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