Community Engagement and Venue-Based Sampling in Adolescent Male Sexually Transmitted Infection Prevention Research

Mary A. Ott, Julianne Campbell, Teresa M. Imburgia, Ziyi Yang, Wanzhu Tu, Colette L. Auerswald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Objectives: Middle adolescent males are a difficult group to recruit for community sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention research. We describe a process of community engagement, and venue-based sampling of 14–17-year-old adolescent males, and compare rates of STIs and STI risk behaviors by venue. Methods: Community engagement consisted of (1) informational meetings with organizations; (2) participation in community meetings and events; (3) hiring community members as study personnel; and (4) an adolescent advisory board recruited from the community. Venues were identified and assessed at different times of the day and days of the week using a structured tool. At selected venues, males ages 14–17 years were invited to participate in a brief survey and provide a urine sample and an optional anal swab for DNA-based STI testing. Results: Venues were assessed (n = 249), and 31 were selected for recruitment, including parks, apartment complexes, community events, entertainment venues, a community school, and community programs for LGBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) and adjudicated youth. We enrolled 667 participants, average age 15.7 years. Participants reported high rates of sexual and STI risk behaviors, but had low rates of STIs. These rates differed by venue, with more structured venues recruiting youth reporting fewer STI risk behaviors and less structured venues within the highest STI prevalence zip code recruiting youth reporting more STI risk behaviors. Conclusion: Venue-based sampling is a feasible mechanism to target recruitment and enrollment adolescent males with high STI risk behaviors in community settings, with risk profiles varying by setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S58-S64
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Adolescent
  • Male
  • Sexual behavior
  • Sexually transmitted infection
  • Venue-based sampling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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