Objective: To determine whether condom use among high-risk female adolescents could be increased by a behavioral intervention, with the use of infection with Chlamydia trachomatis as a biomarker of condom practices. Design: Prospective, randomized, controlled intervention. Setting: Urban family planning and sexually transmitted disease clinics. Participants: Two hundred nine female adolescents, aged 15 through 19 years, who were treated for C. trachomatis genitourinary infection, were randomly assigned to standard (control) or experimental (behavioral intervention) groups. One hundred twelve subjects returned for follow-up 5 to 7 months after enrollment and comprise the study subjects. Measurements: Subjects completed a multiinstrument questionnaire measuring sexual behavior, condom practices, attitudes and beliefs, cognitive complexity, sociodemographics, and motivation at enrollment and follow-up. Endourethral and endocervical sites were sampled for C. trachomatis. Results: Among the 112 subjects who returned for repeated examination, those who had received the experimental intervention reported increased use of condoms by their sexual partners for protection against sexually transmitted diseases (odds ratio = 2.4; p = 0.02) and for vaginal intercourse (odds ratio = 3.1; p = 0.005) at the 6-month follow-up. Multivariable logistic regression analysis controlling for condom use at enrollment demonstrated that the experimental intervention (odds ratio = 2.8; p = 0.03) and the higher cognitive complexity (odds ratio = 4.6; p = 0.02) independently contributed to greater condom use at follow-up. Despite greater use of condoms among the group who had received the intervention, use remained inconsistent and rates of reinfection with C. trachomatis were not significantly different (26% vs 17%; p = 0.3). Conclusion: Although a brief behavioral intervention among high-risk female adolescents can increase condom use by their sexual partners, incident infection does not appear to be reduced, because condom use remained inconsistent.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health